[oclug] html tools
Michael P. Soulier
msoulier at storm.ca
Wed Aug 28 16:57:05 EDT 2002
On 28/08/02 Jon Earle did speaketh:
> That's just silly. "Here's a break. And here's the end of it."
> That would imply I can put some text between the tags, such as:
No in fact. It's a directive to the parser to stop wasting cpu cycles
looking for a closing tag, because there isn't one. You can write that as
<br></br> if you like, but if you do try to enter what you have above, any
validating XML parser will complain, since the <br> tag is specified in
the DTD for XHTML 1.0 as having no content.
> I don't argue with that, but I maintain that some tags don't need to be
> closed... if the standard dictates so, then fine, I'll end up closing tags
> like <br>, just like a good little automaton droid.
The standard dictates so. The benefits of removing all ambiguity and
improving performance were decided to outweight the inconvenience to the user
at having to type "/". Also, recognize that 90% of XML, at least, will not be
generated by humans, and computer programs don't get inconvenienced.
> But, nothing says
> that the standard is "good" - as you say, life is change. Sometimes
> standards need to be changed too.
Before you start conversing with the w3c about changing the standard, you
might want to consider why they chose to do this in the first place, and what
relative value that decision has. If you still disagree, then more power to
you in trying to change the standard. Working within the system for the
betterment of everyone is much better than just stamping your feet and
yelling, "This is stupid!" ;-)
> If that makes the parser more complex to write, with the result that the
> source file is easier to write (and read), then we've made progress (the
> parser will be written once, the source files will be written over and
> over and over again, thousands of times).
But you've also decreased the performance of all XML parsers as well. The
Jabber folks might be annoyed at their computers working harder, not to
mention all those web surfers running browsers parsing XHTML. Compromises in
comp sci are quite common. Memory costs speed. Speed costs memory, or disk
space, or both. Ambiguity costs in performance. Lack of ambiguity can annoy
fledging XHMTL hackers. :)
> We should be writing software to conform to the needs of the user, not
> force the user to conform to the software. This is the principle we've
> been fighting for whenever we denounce Microsoft, yes?
We are, and we have deemed lack of bugs and improved performance, along
with zero ambiguity in the standard, to better the user far more than
requiring less than 10% of XML code to have to manually type a "/"
Michael P. Soulier <msoulier at storm.ca>, GnuPG pub key: 5BC8BE08
"...the word HACK is used as a verb to indicate a massive amount
of nerd-like effort." -Harley Hahn, A Student's Guide to Unix
HTML Email Considered Harmful: http://expita.com/nomime.html
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