using macros to strip SGML

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using macros to strip SGML

Richard Goerwitz
       To dissent from previous comments, I would maintain that stripping
       out SGML markup is a simple task in word-processors with macro
       facilities and conditional gotos.  I have written macros to do
       very similar tasks in MS Word, namely to convert Word character,
       paragraph and style formatting into style markup between angle
       brackets and vice versa.   These are not general purpose
       macros and would certainly not be capable of reflecting the
       complexity of SGML when making conversions.  But they work
       effectively as strippers.

This is just a personal opinion, obviously, but it seems a shame to put
a lot of effort into stripping SGML code from within a single applica-
tions program.  If you switch word processors or operating systems, your
work is lost.  If you can program in a general-purpose programming lang-
uage, then it might be in your long-term interests to write conversion
and stripping routines in that language.

I see a lot of people expend a lot of energy, say, to learn the macro
and programming languages of a single piece of software (this especially
so with Nota Bene).  While this is useful, the very fact that a person
can master such obtuse methods of programming implies that he or she
could very quickly learn how to do it "right" in a general-purpose
language like C, Lisp, or Icon (for beginners, I'd definitely pick Lisp
or Icon before C, though).

I hope that this doesn't stray too far off the main path of discussion.
I see a lot of bright people here who would classify themselves as non-
programmers, but who, with a few weeks of occasional effort could do
themselves a great practical favor....