Re: [dev] XML vs HTML (was: Article about suckless on

From: Eckehard Berns <>
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2014 13:34:41 +0100

On Fri, Feb 21, 2014 at 10:18:45AM +0100, FRIGN wrote:
> On Fri, 21 Feb 2014 11:37:30 +0100
> Anselm R Garbe <> wrote:
> > The web wouldn't be so successful if everything was strictly XML
> > based, more the opposite IMO.
> Why is that? Are you referring to the fact parsing HTML as XML requires
> the developer to be more careful with his markup and that stricter
> parsing would scare off beginners?

There has been a lot of discussion why strict XML parsers don't belong
in a browser. There even are XHTML enthusiasts that are against it.

> That'd be a fair point and I agree, but on the other hand, the rule
> still prevails: You write once, but parse often.

You only write a parser once. But you write some magnitude more markup
that is going to be parsed by it. So optimizing the markup specification
for authoring has a better net gain than to optimize the protocol just to
get away with a simpler parser.

> > Apart from this, XML parsing is *not* simple. And XML sucks [0].
> Yes, it sucks! This is out of question. But nothing compared to SGML.
> The XML-standard has around 26 pages, whereas SGML takes around 600.

That's why HTML uses only a subset of SGML.

That said, I don't want to defend HTML and the web as such, but it would
be much worse with XML IMO. At least from my perspective.

Eckehard Berns
Received on Fri Feb 21 2014 - 13:34:41 CET

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