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

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  • From: len bullard <cbullard@hiwaay.net>
  • To: "Simon St.Laurent" <SimonStL@classic.msn.com>
  • Date: Tue, 05 May 1998 20:31:57 -0500

Simon St.Laurent wrote:
> 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.  

Congratulations.  That is a good start.

> It also has press
> attention like SGML hasn't _ever_ seen.  

Umm... press in the web is a taken for granted thing now.  As for 
SGML, check the references in the early part of the decade including 
a whole issue of Byte.  Remember, those were different times before 
the deflated value of the press today.  In those days, even a 
column in Byte caused quite a stir.

> 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.

Since it is a pruned version of SGML, one might say 
that even Frankenstein could walk on the first day since 
the legs were already able.  "It's Alive!!!"

> Not a bad start.  Hopefully, it will grow.

Hopefully it will stay small and its applications will grow.
> As for abusing the parent, I think you may be in denial about SGML's
> less-than-friendly reputation. 

No.  I have had to contend with that for some years. 

> There were good reasons that the W3C created
> XML, I understand, as well as good reasons for naming it XML rather than
> SGML-Lite.  

I agree with the first, not the last.  We have to let that go.

> 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.

So does XML.  I think once it is out there awhile, you will get to 
endure that as well.  You see, SGML did not start out with that 
reputation.  It grew as some found it convenient.  Compared to 
tagging Digital Standard Runoff by hand, it was a piece of cake.
> 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.

You will find that the first time a Jorn Barger drops on the list, 
diplomacy will be of some use.  I don't dismiss their needs.  I hope 
to see them met.  I dismiss the arguments that say they become 
confused by SGML arcana.  It is the same people answering both sets of 
questions.  So far, that hasn't been a problem.

>  I don't think it's a great place to learn about XML. It's not always
> >> 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
> >seriously.
> Well, at least we seem to agree on the pedagogical value of a separate
> comp.text.xml newsgroup.  That's a start.

Yes.  Much success to you.

BTW, rumors are always suspect. ;-)


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