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   Re: Off track

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  • From: "W. Eliot Kimber" <eliot@isogen.com>
  • To: "Xml-Dev (E-mail)" <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Thu, 30 Apr 1998 19:23:43 -0700

At 09:52 AM 5/1/98 +1000, Marcus Carr wrote:
>Simon St.Laurent wrote:
>> Apart from the number of people working on XML who are from assorted
>> and settler states, I'm really not sure what on earth you're talking
about.  I
>> know there are several issues with Unicode (65000 characters isn't enough),
>> but what in XML is so 'colonial'?
>Nothing in the sense that you are thinking of - what I meant was that a
>small <disclaimer>albeit it open, etc.</disclaimer> group of people are
>decisions that are going to have a profound impact on many millions of
people for
>some time to come. I believe we are preparing to unleash a new culture on
>everyone; I wasn't referring to any particular cultural or ethnic group or

But isn't this almost always how these things happen? There's maybe 20
people who have direct and continuous input into SGML, DSSSL, etc. It must
be the same for things like HTML, internet standards, products, laws, etc.
Certainly a large number of people will influence the decisions of these
small groups, but ultimately it comes down to a few people making critical
decisions.  No matter how open a process is, it always comes down to what
the people who do the work do.

The US constitution was framed by no more than about 50 people, of whom
maybe 10 were involved in the bulk of the decisions made, with the core
ideas coming from just two or three people (Jefferson, Madison, etc.). The
decisions of that small group of people working largely in secret in 1789
have profoundly affected world history.

I would like to think that, as a body and as individuals, that the members
of the XML WG take their resposibility very seriously--my experience is
that we do--it's one of the reasons that I'm willing and proud to
participate in the process.  It doesn't mean we'll always make the best
technical decision--we're only human, but we certainly don't make any
decisions lightly.  And of course, we have to play the hand we're dealt,
whether we like it or not.


<Address HyTime=bibloc>
W. Eliot Kimber, Senior Consulting SGML Engineer
ISOGEN International Corp.
2200 N. Lamar St., Suite 230, Dallas, TX 95202.  214.953.0004

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