[racket] Sweet expressions; or making it easier to introduce Racket to me and my coworkers :-)

From: Norman Gray (norman at astro.gla.ac.uk)
Date: Thu Jul 21 14:04:19 EDT 2011


On 2011 Jul 21, at 18:44, Neil Van Dyke wrote:

> Norman Gray wrote at 07/21/2011 10:54 AM:
>> However when I asserted that all of the angle-brackets in XML syntax, and all of the end-tags, are distracting, the interesting rejoinder was: "what end tags? oh, those end tags!" -- that is, the same rejoinder ("what brackets!?") that folk make to the claim that lisp-like syntaxes have too many parentheses.
> I think the difference is that even XML and other W3C standards people 
> realize that XML syntax quickly gets ridiculous. 
> http://relaxng.org/compact-tutorial-20030326.html

To be fair, I think that RelaxNG was a response, not to XML in general, but to the hideousness that is XML Schemas.  I can't confidently remember my history, but I don't think that James Clark was closely involved in XSchema.

> I did some work for an SGML company before XML was started, and SGML 
> syntax made reasonable sense for document markup at the time (which is 
> why Berners-Lee made HTML look like it).  But then XML people decided to 
> adapt SGML for all data interchange, and we'll be stuck with that for a 
> while.

Ditto -- indeed it was through DSSSL that I came to Scheme (all hail DSSSL, another debt I owe James Clark), and through HyTime (blessed chimaera, too pure for this sullen world) that I really grokked the power of structured information.

Overall (and at the obvious risk of drifting off-topic), I think one can say that XML is generally a Good Thing, but that no idea is so good that you can't find someone with the talent to find new wrong ends of the stick to grasp, and make it look like a very bad thing indeed.  I bear the scars.

I've recently been spectating on the emergence of a micro profile of XML <http://home.ccil.org/~cowan/MicroXML.html>.  It's not as micro as some people want, but it's slimmed a little bit.

All the best,


Norman Gray  :  http://nxg.me.uk
School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow, UK

Posted on the users mailing list.