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[Axiom-developer] converting sexps to XML

From: daly
Subject: [Axiom-developer] converting sexps to XML
Date: Tue, 28 Jun 2005 08:57:16 -0500

I should amplify the point made earlier given this comment:

> What I meant is that converting sexps to XML is trivial in the sense
> that "(tag :attribute value ...)" becomes "<tag attribte="value" ...
> </tag>". 

Ummm. nope. You assume no runtime meaning; that it is just syntax so that

(anchor "slashdot" "")

==>  <a href="">slashdot</a>

but lisp allows runtime behaviour thus

(defun getAnchor (name) (gethash name URLhash))

(anchor name (getAnchor name))

==> ?

We can certainly specify an API of function calls with restricted
meaning and requirements. This requires a balance between at least
two mindsets for very large values of two.

Mindset one is that we want to be able to generate any XML. Thus we
want to look at the XML spec and make sure we "cover" it, that is,
make sure we can generate the full range of XML.

Mindset two is that we want to be able to reproduce the existing
browser functionality. Thus we want to look at the range of abilities
of the existing browser and make sure we can implement it.

Mindset three is that we want to take advantage of the new browser
abilities, like tabs, bookmarks, popups, javascript, jsMath, etc.
and want to reflect these abilities in the API so we can write code 
to generate them.

Mindset four .....

Ah, there is a carnival of voices in my head....


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