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Re: Common Lisp "let"

Pixel wrote:
> hum. One can't generalize that redundancy *always* help error checking
> and reporting.

I certainly agree.

> I agree that named close-tags help error reporting (but doesn't help
> error checking), but IMO it destroys readability. 

It depends on the situation.

> Having both named & unnamed close-tags (a la SGML's </>) would allow
> to favour readability for small trees (the leaves), and using named
> close-tags for bigger nodes (favouring error reporting).

As the document I referenced said:

"XML is not perfect. For instance, it might be better if the tagnames in
the end-tag could be omitted. I was a strong proponent of this, but
there was a sense that this would make it more difficult to process with
simplistic text manipulation tools such as regular expression-based

So you won't get an argument from me on that point.

> Well, it depends what XML is for. If the purpose is literate
> documentation, it is nice. If the purpose is programming (think XSLT),
> I much prefer *any* other syntax (including Cobol!).

Well XML is not designed to be a basis for programming languages and
XSLT is not really intended to be a general purpose programming
language. It is an XML processing language that allows you to express
patterns of XML to create *in XML*.

> And XML escaping syntax is nicely generic, but quite ugly. 

I don't think this is the best forum to go through a full critique of
XML's syntactic choices. Every person has a list of things they would
change. Unfortunately the lists don't converge enough to actually create
a constituency for change. I'll quote myself again:

"We could continue all day discussing minor changes but many of those
decisions were made in the 1980s, as part of SGML's standardization
process. I'll agree emphatically that XML is not perfect -- just better
for its problem domain than s-expressions."

> I do agree Lisp s-exprs can't replace XML. I only dream XML would have
> been nicer... 

Then we're in broad agreement.

> ... Especially when people want XML everywhere (any idea how
> /etc/group would like like? :-( )

<group name="wheel" passwd="XXXX" gid="0" user_list="root paul john"/>
<group name="..." passwd="..." gid="..." user_list="..."/>

I don't see a big problem...a little more verbose, but also a little
more readable.

 Paul Prescod