[XML-SIG] Re: XML DTD for Python source?

THOMAS PASSIN tpassin@idsonline.com
Fri, 3 Mar 2000 18:53:44 -0500

Greg Wilson wrote<gvwilson@nevex.com>

> > Thomas Passin wrote:
> >
> > Well, for one thing it [using XML to store program source] would make
> > it easier to make a "folding" editor.
> Yup.  I used the folding editor that came with occam for a couple of
> years; it was the only thing about the system I liked :-).
> > Still, once you start creating your program this way, it's going to be
> > bloody hard to to edit it by hand any more.
> Do you feel that you're "editing by hand" when you use Microsoft Word on a
> .doc file?  Or Frame on a .frm file?  If not, why not?
It depends... I usually turn off as many of the automatic things as I can,
like automatic numbered lists.  In this respect, I think that if I type a
character or move a line, and the visual appearance responds as I think it
would if I were using a typewriter (modulo word wrap, I guess), then I think
of it as being "by hand".

If my source code looked radically different because it was saved as XML,
say, then "editing by hand" to me means to find all the right places in the
raw character strings, which would be hard and distracting.

I realize that Word, for example, uses a very complex internal structure,
not really like what you see on the screen.  But that's really what I was
alluding to - once you edit a .doc file in word, you can't really tinker
with it "by hand" using some other product/editor.  So you are restricted to
using Word from then on.

This would be quite a change for a lot of programmers, seems to me.  But if
the new environment had a lot of really good features, that might be worth
it, yes?  Like I ***CAN*** use any text editor for Python files, but I
**USUALLY** use Idle (the new 0.5 version is really an advance over the old
one, which was pretty nice already).

Do I hear "literate programming" in the wings?

Tom Passin