Thursday, February 25, 2010

Simplified s-expression XML (SML)

Have you ever finished something and released it to the world and then almost immediately afterward realized a way to improve it? Well, that happened with my last blog post. I woke up in the middle of the night and realized that I don't need the damn @ sign in SML.

This will work just fine:
 (tagname attr "value" attr2 "value2"
   (tagname3 "data"))
When parsing the SML if there's a symbol, it must be an attribute name, because the only other things allowed are sublists and strings. That makes the format a lot more readable. I've updated sml.arc to use this new format.

It will also still accept the old format with the @ signs. Might as well keep it backward compatible. I hope I won't wake up in the middle of the night again tonight.


  1. The XML version is verbose but it is also more robust in the face of errors. For instance, I'll make the same mistake in both documents:

    (document author: ""
    (para "This is a paragraph " (footnote "(better than the one under there)" ".")
    (para "Ha! I made you say \"underwear\"."))

    This is a paragraph (just a little one).
    Ha! I made you say "underwear".

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