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Subject: RE: [ubl-lcsc] Re: Position Paper on List Containers


While I agree with much of what you say about looking forward, I must
disagree that we can ignore totally ubiquitous tools such as Internet
Explorer. Most people in my experience do use IE5.* or 6 to browse XML
because it provides a collapsible view that many text editors do not.
Also, the existence of collapsible tree-view and folder-based
hierarchies in XML editing tools and document management systems is very

(Jon's arguments about readability stands, if only because the IE is an
example of a much more common UI behavior around XML.)



>>In section 6, you mention readability.  If you read XML documents
>>Notepad or vi, container elements do not help readability.  However,
>>if you use a folding XML editor/viewer, even Internet Explorer,
>>containers are great for folding up a repeated group of elements that
>>you do not want to look at.  You do not need hundreds, nor even
>>thousands, of items for this to be true.

I'd say we should not fall into the trap of accomodating current
generation of tools as a guideline for designing standards.
Going by your argument seems to suggest that we shouldn't use
XML at all, since XML elements appear to be too verbose,
and non-intuitive when viewed using Notepad or vi, that we
should probably go back to ASCII-based, position-dependent,
courier fixed-font sized, CRLF-terminated encodings instead
because that assist text editors most.

We should look ahead.  That when dusts have settled within
UBL, and with some successful usage deployment of UBL,
UBL-oriented tools would appear regardless of whether there
is or not containers.  These could pack more segmentation
and re-assembly features to present instance documents in
more intelligible manner to humans, so much so that with or
without containers, the information management is simple.

This makes any viewing advantage presented by container rules 
a non-advantage (not necessarily a disadvantage, but certainly
with simple but good UBL-apps, information is easily managed
and viewed with or without containers).  A "foldable" button 
would look primitive in comparison.

In short, if we stay happy with horse carriages, we'll
plan our lives around its limitations, and probably won't
think of inventing motor vehicles.

Best Regards,
Chin Chee-Kai
Tel: +65-6820-2979
Fax: +65-6743-7875
Email: cheekai@SoftML.Net

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