[rfc-i] [xml2rfc] will <vspace=n> disappear

Dale R. Worley worley at ariadne.com
Fri Oct 24 08:35:59 PDT 2014


> > Again: use case?
> 
> The use cases were given, but they aren't use cases for "vertical
> blank space".  They are use cases for other things:
> 
>  - multi-paragraph list items (I forget if in v3 the schema supports
> this properly)
[etc.]

This being the universe of computers, we've been down this road
before.  Viz., it comes time to reform some part of the universe, and
for all sorts of good reasons, the Great New Thing incorporates all
and only the things that we have good arguments for.  For instance, we
stopped writing system software in assember and started writing it in
Pascal, which was carefully designed to let you express the things you
should be able to express and not express the things you shouldn't.

Then we suddenly discover that there are things we need to express
that we really *shouldn't* have to express, but somehow we *do* have
to express.  For instance, people quckly found that Pascal doesn't let
you do those tricky, ugly little things that save so much processing
if you can just do the trick once in 10,000 lines of code.  The result
is we write our system software in C, which lets you do as those
horrible tricks, not Pascal.

The real test of a new vocabulary is to rewrite a large sample of
documents in the new vocabulary and *see what breaks*.  Because if you
don't test it in reality, you can easily be designing the next Pascal.

Dale


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