XML [Re: New comment delimiter?]

Dwight Hughes dwighth at ipa.net
Mon Dec 29 19:25:13 UTC 1997

Patrick Logan mentioned using XML for a file-out format
for more elaborate code and documentation systems in an
earlier message, and it might serve well as a basis
for such semantic structuring/tagging also. The draft
of the XML standard is at:


-- Dwight

-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Klein <mike at twinsun.com>
To: squeak at cs.uiuc.edu <squeak at cs.uiuc.edu>
Date: Monday, December 29, 1997 1:07 PM
Subject: Re: New comment delimiter?

|> From gr at fuzzy.uba.ar Thu Dec 25 01:24:16 1997
|> Just an idea:
|> What if we use the color and/or size of the text to show if it's a
|> comment for programers, a comment for users, just a comment, or anything
|> else?
|> It has some problemas like storing all that information as text (HTML may
|> help?), and it also makes you learn some color codes to understand what's
|> written (size can help for this problem), but it has
|> a very nice pro: You can write a book in this way, with titles,
|> subtitles, superscripts (?), etc. and of course embedded examples!
|> What do you think?
|So what you really seem to want is some informational tag on the comments,
|so you can tell, for example, the intended audience.  (I certainly wouldn't
|mind setting the color of the copyright notice comments to transparent :-).
|This is, loosely speaking, a meta-comment... a comment about the comment.
|Of course in a reflective system, one can add a semantic component even to
|comments.  Sounds like a good idea.  Important to to have some kind of
|"standard" so we can all at least have some inkling of what these
|meta-comments mean.  Also, divorce the idea of physical markup from the
|semantic tagging.  In outher words,  the author of a comment may tag it as
|being for lawyers only.  It should be the viewer's responsibilty to map
|these tags to actual emphases, be they colors for the non-color-blind,
|font-sizes for the color-blind, voice-intonation for the totally blind,
|or even elided for the legallly-apathetic. There could also be standard
|mappings, aka style-sheets.
|Of course it would be nice if we could tag all components to the source,
|not just the comment.  I think it would be way cool if Squeak's methods
|and classes were tagged with a "difficulty level".  Beginers' browsers
|would show things like #do: before #inject:into:   and  OrderedCollection
|before Metaclass.
| Ramblings after the holidays...
| -- Mike Klein

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