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   Parents and children (was RFD: comp.text.xml)

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  • From: "Simon St.Laurent" <SimonStL@classic.msn.com>
  • To: "Xml-Dev (E-mail)" <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>, "XML-L (E-mail)" <XML-L@LISTSERV.HEA.IE>
  • Date: Sun, 3 May 98 17:00:56 UT

>> XML is more than a subset of SGML.  It has its own limitations, its own
>> practices, and its own audience.  
>So far, it has a new name.

So far it has its own limitations, and 20-odd announced books (3 of which have 
SGML in the title) coming out, as well as a new name.  It also has press 
attention like SGML hasn't _ever_ seen.  It has ringing endorsements from 
major corporations, and promising new products.  None of it's here yet, 
really, but the standard only arrived two months ago.

Not a bad start.  Hopefully, it will grow.

>> The extent of overlap may be examined, but I doubt it will be a majority 
>> more than few months.  XML is arousing interest in many computing sectors
>> (HTML developers, database developers, OOP programmers) who in the past had
>> nothing (or as little as possible) to do with SGML.
>Nice.  Take the ideas, abuse the parent in public, claim to have created
>new technology.

Um... where did I invent a new technology?  I was discussing additional 
sectors of users who are taking advantage of XML and who didn't use SGML much 

As for abusing the parent, I think you may be in denial about SGML's 
less-than-friendly reputation.  There were good reasons that the W3C created 
XML, I understand, as well as good reasons for naming it XML rather than 
SGML-Lite.  This doesn't mean that SGML is evil incarnate - it just means that 
it involved a learning curve that many people found less than exciting. 

I also said "XML should acknowledge SGML as the parent, the teacher, the 
source of inspiration, and move on to live its own life."  This doesn't sound 
like I'm denying SGML's beneficent influence.

>> I see comp.text.xml as a place for people, both new and experts, to
>> communicate about the new things opened up by XML, not as a place for a
>> relatively small club of experts to form and maintain alliances.
>That relatively small club created everything that you 
>are now claiming is a new language.  You are being somewhat less than
>ethical in that comment.

I'm very thankful to that small club, as I've said repeatedly.  I just don't 
think that comp.text.xml is meant as a forum for diplomacy.  XML-DEV or other 
forums are probably more appropriate.  I don't understand why you seem so 
dismissive of the needs of people who are coming to XML from non-SGML (and 
non-standards body) backgrounds. 

And, to end on a positive note:
>> I've been perusing comp.text.sgml for the last few months.  While I'm
>> impressed with the quality of discussion (as I have been on XML-DEV and
>> XML-L), I don't think it's a great place to learn about XML. It's not 
>> easy to determine when SGML-only features are being discussed, and the
>> question overlaps can lead to some fairly significant confusion, especially
>> for beginners.

>This is speculative but so far, the one issue that can be taken

Well, at least we seem to agree on the pedagogical value of a separate 
comp.text.xml newsgroup.  That's a start.

Simon St.Laurent
Dynamic HTML: A Primer / XML: A Primer / Cookies

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