Lambda the Ultimate

inactiveTopic Simple Outline XML: SOX
started 4/3/2002; 2:49:33 AM - last post 4/6/2002; 7:44:49 AM
Ehud Lamm - Simple Outline XML: SOX  blueArrow
4/3/2002; 2:49:33 AM (reads: 2720, responses: 6)
Simple Outline XML: SOX
SOX is an alternative syntax for XML. It is useful for reading and creating XML content in a text editor. It is then easily transformed into proper XML.

To all who bitched about XSL's XML based syntax...

Example (from the web page):


Posted to xml by Ehud Lamm on 4/3/02; 2:50:11 AM

Alex Moffat - Re: Simple Outline XML: SOX  blueArrow
4/3/2002; 5:47:56 AM (reads: 2119, responses: 0)
Interesting. Looks very similar to xsltxt. xsltxt has a slight difference as it is targeted only at xsl while sox looks like it could be used for any xml representation. Because of this xsltxt can use positional values for required parameters so "call 'foo'" instead of "call-template> name='foo'". It also provides an alternative syntax for parameter calls and definitions as I found that one of the most verbose things to write. So "call 'foo' ('bar':'$n', 'baz'%'title')" and "tpl 'foo' ('bar', 'baz'%'default')". As with sox no semantic changes or extensions are supported.

p.s. I wrote xsltxt so I may be a bit biased (I hope not though).

paul jensen - Re: Simple Outline XML: SOX  blueArrow
4/3/2002; 10:59:29 AM (reads: 2105, responses: 1)
From the SOX web page:

> SOX uses indenting to represent the structure of an XML document,
> which eliminates the need for closing tags and a number of
> quoting devices. 
It would be neat to have a dialect of XML optimised for working with by humans, something with features like:

  • optional end tags (maybe even opening tags!)
  • less strict quoting and attribute specification

I can even imagine features like interpreting certain characters as markup in certain contexts. That would make editing the stuff much more pleasant.

Until then, I guess it's tons of pointy-brackets and forgotten end-tags in my Ant buildfiles.


Oleg - Re: Simple Outline XML: SOX  blueArrow
4/3/2002; 12:04:18 PM (reads: 2142, responses: 0)
You may want then to take a look at SXML. Here's how an SXML document was typed in:
and here how it eventually looks:
This (rather advanced) transformation is described in

SXML is powerful and expressive, largely due to "high-level" tags. They make the markup far more concise. SXML is highly amenable to transformations, using a real rather than limited programming language. The XSLT Recommendation specifically says that "However, XSLT is not intended as a completely general-purpose XML transformation language. Rather it is designed primarily for the kinds of transformations that are needed when XSLT is used as part of XSL." More details about authoring and transforming SXML are available at
(that page was itself authored in SXML. To see the master source, replace the .html suffix with .scm).

jm - Other alternate XML notations  blueArrow
4/5/2002; 1:01:25 AM (reads: 2103, responses: 0)
You might also want to check SLiP that is python friendly, and the more generic YAML (in particular YAML relation to XML )

paul jensen - Re: Simple Outline XML: SOX  blueArrow
4/5/2002; 7:31:41 AM (reads: 2029, responses: 0)
Ah yes, I've been reading about SXML. Very interesting stuff (as I find all your writings to be, Oleg. Filtering usenet with "" guarantees a content-rich read.) I'd certainly sooner enter SXML by hand than XML.

Had a quick look at SLiP and YAML. It's all useful, but I often find it ironic that some of these "shorthands" solutions are similar to the SGML stuff XML threw out.

That's progress, I guess.

Alex Moffat - Re: Simple Outline XML: SOX  blueArrow
4/6/2002; 7:44:49 AM (reads: 2015, responses: 0)
I agree that SXML is a much better solution than XSLTXT and I certainly prefer programming Scheme to writing XSLT or Java. The justification for XSLTXT is its integration into a Java environment, in particular the fact that it implements the XMLReader interface means that it plugs into the existing XSLT transformation systems. It's certainly not a "solution" to the problems of XSLTXT, more an attempt to smooth over the parts that discomfort me the most about XML encoding of XSLT. If I could use SXML for what I use XSLTXT for I would.