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Re: Is XML text?

From: Vincent Lefevre <vincent+svn_at_vinc17.org>
Date: 2004-05-17 20:47:30 CEST

On 2004-05-17 12:59:46 -0500, Travis P wrote:
> Merging is great only if you understand the XML content (i.e. the tags
> of any arbitrary DTD) well enough to perform a merge based on looking
> at the XML data directly in a text editor.

I edit all my XML files with emacs, i.e. a text editor. No problem to
understand them and so on. They are not just HTML, but also Docbook,
XSLT, SVG and various databases.

> As a general philosophy:
> http://www.w3.org/XML/1999/XML-in-10-points
> 3. XML is text, but isn't meant to be read

But this doesn't mean that one can't read them and that a diff would
be meaningless.

> There are obvious exceptions. I myself to all my XHTML web pages by
> hand and I have xml configuration files for programs I write--config
> files that users are never expected to edit directly. I would think
> the exceptions should have exceptional treatment, not be the default.

XHTML is not an exception. The exceptions are the XML files that can't
be read by a human being.

> As I just wrote to the users@ list on a related topic
> (application/postscript is the discussion rather than application/xml):
> I would think that anything application/* (including application/xml)
> should not be treated as mergeable text.

And I replied that there is no reason to do that (also consider
shell scripts that have an application MIME type...). Note that
"application" doesn't mean "binary".

Vincent Lefèvre <vincent_at_vinc17.org> - Web: <http://www.vinc17.org/>
100% validated (X)HTML - Acorn / RISC OS / ARM, free software, YP17,
Championnat International des Jeux Mathématiques et Logiques, etc.
Work: CR INRIA - computer arithmetic / SPACES project at LORIA
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Received on Mon May 17 20:48:43 2004

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