Subject: Re: XML and lisp
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2001 17:05:27 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Barry Fishman <>
> Wouldn't attribute lists need to have a more `let' like syntax (and behavior).

  No.  Please forget the attributes.  There _are_ no attributes.  Whether
  something is an attribute or not is completely arbitrary and irrelevant.
  Your access to that information is _not_ dependent on its rerepsentation
  in SGML/XML.  Treat everything as a subordinate element.  This is the key
  idea to gaining power of abstraction over the XML data.  Holding on to
  the mythical distinction between attribute and sub-element is the key
  idea to losing any and all power of abstraction.

> Just by " (emph "standardizing") " a straightforward mapping of XML into
> and back from lisp, the uglyness and verbosity of XML would be less of an
> issue.  You could use the syntax you liked.  I suspect when the
> enthusiasm for XML has died down a bit, the benefits of a standardized
> lisp notation could become better recognized.

  Please understand that that is what I was trying to do.  The only way to
  deal with the mistake that they made in syntactically separating
  attributes from contents is to undo that mistake.  Any and all catering
  to it is only making it worse.

> You do need to step around the native lisp functions like quote.