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Subject: Shallow parse trees

Matthew MacKenzie asked why don't we just settle on "keep the parse tree
as shallow as possible for the benefit of processing applications"?

I'm not convinced that it would be all that beneficial,
performance-wise, though I have few metrics to prove otherwise.

But it definitely is more natural to build up more complicated
structures from smaller ones.   EDIFACT (and X12 to a lesser extent),
with its copious use of qualifiers serving as adjectives, mimics the way
our brains actually use language by building up the meaning, or
"semantics," one piece at a time.   Trying to compress all the semantics
of a business data unit into one XML tag, requiring the use of a
complicated repository to extract its meaning, might seem

William J. Kammerer
4950 Blazer Memorial Pkwy.
Dublin, OH USA 43017-3305
(614) 791-1600

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