Subject: Core ideas behind SGML and XML
From: (Rob Warnock)
Date: Mon, 30 Sep 2002 08:34:08 -0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>
In the "replace EMACS LISP with Guile" thread,
Erik Naggum <> wrote:
| * Tim Bradshaw
| | XML and its encrustations seem to me to be classic examples of the
| | existing art being just too bad to deal with.
| It takes considerable time to understand this, however. If you do /not/
| grasp the core ideas behind SGML and XML, you will probably invent
| something worse, such as an ad-hoc binary format...

I'm very interested in learning what these "core ideas" are, since I
suspect I am missing something significant (and/or obvious!), and
would appreciate a pointer to any available literature (including
any of your articles archived at <URL:> or
<URL:> or elsewhere). Even just a set of
"bullet items" (one-liners) would be appreciated as hints for what to
go look for.

I assume you're *not* talking about trivial stuff like "<tag>foo</tag>"
syntax [which to me is just verbose way of externally representing
(serializing) trees (though not DAGs or more complex structures),
and which S-exprs do a much better job of (especially if you allow
"#n=" & "#n#" for the more complex graphs)], but about one or more
deeper issues that you've hinted at several times but that (not having
studied SGML per se) I don't have the context to follow up on without
more explicit pointers.

Thanks in advance,


Rob Warnock, PP-ASEL-IA		<>
627 26th Avenue			<URL:>
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