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Languages & recoding

Author Message
Written on: 02. 04. 2003 [15:59]
registered since: 31.12.1969
Posts: 0

Braulio wrote:

> Actually, PHP is a programming language. Using XSLT (XML) you can give a
> format. That is why I call XML a "formatting language". Or just simply
> using HTML you can format, for instance with the <font> tag. Another
> example of formatting languages are LaTex or

(And later you sent an expanded message, but my answer below was already
written. Sorry...)

Maybe I was not using the correct terminology. However, I hope the meaning
was understood: the language I was asking about, is a language which should
allow me to manipulate the data stored in the record fields, such as the
Isis formatting language (IFL) traditionally does.

You are talking of formatting at the next level: "what HTML/XSLT/LaTeX code
should I use to present my data?", when my original question was something
more like "what xxx code should I use to convert my data into

By the way, the fact that the IFL includes some constructs like
"", o "", and functions like
"system()", gives it the aspect of a (very limited, of course) programming
language. So the *formatting* and the *programming* aspects of the IFL are
somewhat mixed in real applications, at least in my view. Moreover, when you
write IsisScripts for wxis, the programming tasks are, in a certain way,
distributed between elements of the IsisScript language, and portions of the

Now, going to your most recent email, I must say that language independence
is really a great thing, something that should help to shorten the distance
between Isis & the rest of the world. (On the other hand, for people like me
who have been becoming familiar with the IFL for more than a couple of
years, that advantage is not immediately obvious, but that's just an
observation, not an argument against language independence, of course!).

>To transform old MS-DOS chars you could use the PHP functions htmlentities
>or htmlspecialchars, but I checked through the code of PHP and saw that
>there is not support for Cp850 or Cp437. I will try to make a patch for

Well... that depends on what one needs to do. PHP's htmlentities() or
htmlspecialchars() are OK if you only want to show data in an HTML page, but
not if you need to process the data in other ways, say apply term
highlighting, or any other task not directly related to data display. So
what one needs is the kind of transformation that provide Isis' gizmos: the
recoding of the whole record (or, perhaps better still, the recoding of just
an arbitrary portion of a record?).

Thanks for you answers, and I hope this list will show more activity and
discussions in the coming months.



======================================================Fernando J. Gómez

Biblioteca Dr. Antonio Monteiro
Instituto de Matemática de Bahía Blanca (CONICET/UNS)
Av. Alem 1253
8000 Bahía Blanca
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