Academic Foundations Yield Practical Structures
"Informally, a hedge is a sequence of trees. In the XML terminology, a hedge is a sequence of elements possibly interevened by character data (or types of character data); in particular, an XML document is a hedge." Hedge automata are software tools which process hedges.
Theory difficult for non-mathematicians
When I first saw Murata Makoto presenting on hedges, I had no idea what he was saying - too much math. Fortunately, I had Rick Jelliffe providing running commentary on how adding and subtracting DTD components could revolutionize XML processing.
Practice is simpler, fortunately
The theory is available to those who want to read it, but it isn't necessary to understand it. RELAX has been designed so that developers of RELAX grammars can use RELAX without thinking about the details of hedge processing. Because hedge processing is about structures (unlike DTDs, where string-substitution was common), it's not that hard to write implementations, either.
Math provides coherence, not complication
The mathematical underpinnings of RELAX keep it workable, not unworkable.
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