OT: Programmers whos first language is not English

Stephen Horne intentionally at blank.co.uk
Mon Mar 10 11:54:01 CET 2003

On 09 Mar 2003 23:45:29 +0000, Alexander Schmolck <a.schmolck at gmx.net>

>Stephen Horne <intentionally at blank.co.uk> writes:

>> Of course XML isn't a friendly language either, 
>Not being a language, yes.

It may not be a *programming* language, but it is a language.

>> but the programmer looking at his editor is not supposed to see XML.
>Why would he be supposed to see lisp?

It sounded to me as if you were proposing I drop the whole idea as
lisp does what you thought I wanted.

>> Yes, I also know that it is possible to write a parser in LISP and use
>> it as a metalanguage in a remarkably natural way. It's still not what
>> I mean, though it IS among the advantages I'd like to be able to
>> emulate.
>Anything you can express in XML you can express in sexps, only that sexps are
>,certainly for your problem, *much* easier to read (both for humans and
>computers) and also to manipulate and to create (thanks to the fact that they
>tend to come with a powerful programming language built around them).
>So what's the point of using XML?

See my reply to Paul Foley.

XML is designed to handle marked-up text, whatever that text
represents. If 'sexps' is a notation for 'parenthesised expressions'
then certainly they *can* handle the same task, but they don't do it
as cleanly. When you need to keep markup distinct from text, a
lisp-like notation gets just as complex as XML.

Add on the fact that the XML parsers are already written and that they
already handle character set translation, and the decision is really
not that hard.

Of course, if someone is going to write a general parser for
parenthesised expressions including quoted text, without the overhead
of a full lisp interpreter and environment, and with support for
character set translation - well, I'll be happy to consider it.

Strange that people are making such a fuss over a project which will
probably never be used by anyone but me ;-)

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