E-lang meets Minimal-XML
16:45, 30 Jan 2001 UTC | Eric van der Vlist

Earlier this month, Clark Evans directed sml-dev to a page, titled "Quasi-Literals and XML", promoting the usage of Minimal-XML for "making XML usable":

Minimal-XML is the subset of XML that most closely corresponds to the good stuff -- the S-Expression-like functionality.

The page links to a minimal-DOM implementation, expresses some strong sentiments against XSLT, and attempts to propose a better framework:

XSL is a specialized language built specifically for transforming XML, into XML or other notations, but not for transforming other notations into XML. Most damaging, XSL is not Turing complete (does not have the power of any general purpose programming language), and so is severely restricted in the transformations it can express …/… The E quasi-parser framework combines the directness of XSL-style match-bind-substitute programming with the power of general purpose programming.

The proposal offered by Mark Miller -- author of the "Quasi-Literals and XML" page --  is to create a Minimal-Schema:

Although Minimal-XML is a proper subset of well-formed XML, the Minimal-Schema I have in mind will not be a subset of anyone else's Schema proposal. Rather, it will be able to describe very simple structural constraints on Minimal-XML trees, and it will, of course, be expressed in Minimal-XML in a form described in Minimal-Schema.

Miller's proposal has been well received on sml-dev by Paul Tchistopolskii  and Michael Champion:

It would be very, very cool to have a reasonable Minimal-Schema spec out in advance of the monstrosity that the W3C will inflict upon us in a few months.

And the delay to define a minimal schema can only be... minimal:

Ok, Minimal-Schema coming up.  I might not be able to get to it for another week though.

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