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Subject: Re: [relax-ng] Proposal: remove annotations from the compact syntax

>> - it looks more like the rest of RNC, is less verbose
> I believe James reckons it a virtue that annotations *don't* look
> like the rest of RNC.

I believe annotations need to be harmonious with yet easily distinguishable 
(both by programs and humans) from the rest of RNC.  I think the current 
syntax meets this requirement; the use of square brackets distinguishes 
annotations from the rest of the syntax, but all other aspects are 
consistent.  For example, the only difference between lists of datatype 
parameters and lists of attributes is that one is enclosed in curly braces 
and the other is enclosed in square brackets.

If you were to use curly braces for annotations, then you would need some 
sort of keyword or operator to distinguish annotations (which would make it 
more verbose not less, though that is not necessarily a fault). If people 
prefer this, then they need to make a thought-through proposal (i.e. 
provide a BNF).

If you were use XML syntax, then it becomes very non-harmonious: for 
example, you would have two kinds of string literals, those in the XML 
fragments specifying attribute values and those outside, with different 
rules for escaping and quoting.  You also end up with attribute annotations 
having a similar, but slightly different syntax from attributes on element 


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