[XML-SIG] Re: PyDoc/XML?
Tue, 28 Sep 1999 18:48:58 -0400
> >> In other words, is it possible to use XML as a markup language inside the
> >> comments of another language etc. I seem to recall that this is done in
> >> SGML but haven't heard of it in XML.
> >Where's the technical problem?
> ><module name='foo'>
> ><description>A collection of k-RAD routines for the very 3733T</description>
> I see at least two problems (perhaps more esthetic than technical :)
Why be so polite? It's downright hideous.
> 1. XML is not (IMHO) user-friendly enough to allow human entry and still
> remain well-formed & validatable (XML would require that last phrase
> to be written "well-formed & validatable"). We can't expect folks
> to remember what has to be escaped and/or quoted etc.
> 2. XML is not (IMHO) flexible and readable enough to be blended or
> mixed with ordinary, unmarked document comments in a natural way. Your
> triple-quoted examples show pure XML. Why can't we mix this with
> 'free-style' comments in a intuitive way (a la JavaDocs)?
And that's exactly why I said I wouldn't recommend it (although I won't
automatically agree with XML's lack of readibility). I appear to have
misunderstood your question, and I'm still not sure I understand it.
> These problems suggest that we would need some kind of pre- or post-
> processor to correct these problems. If so, why not invent a markup-language
> that is friendly and flexible enough to eliminate this need?
Please provide some sort of example. Are you sure you mean "markup-language"?
> So this was my original question: Is it possible to define a markup-language
> like this in XML?
I don't get it. Presumably your objection to XML-in-the-midst-of-code is all
the palaver with angle brackets, beginning and end-tags, character entities
and all that. In that case, how can we possibly come up with an XML-based
language that is not problematic?
> I should point out that I mainly want to generate language _reference_
> manuals with this markup language. I agree with you that other documents,
> including general user and programming documentation should be produced
> as standalone documents. Reference manuals, however, would benefit by
> their one-to-one relationship with the code they resemble.
Actually, I am precisely talking about reference documents with the DTD and
XSL I presented. The result would certainly not be friendly enough to be used
for intros or tutorials. I don't think there is any way to generate general
user and programming documentation automatically until AI is a good deal
So I'm quite in the dark at this point. I think it might help if you could
provide examples, even poor ones.
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