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   Re: Ownership of Names

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  • From: Peter Murray-Rust <peter@ursus.demon.co.uk>
  • To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Thu, 01 Oct 1998 11:42:26

At 19:19 30/09/98 -0500, Steven R. Newcomb wrote:
>[Frank Blau:]

>>When I talk to people about XML, one of the "problems" I identify is the
>>overabundance of navel-gazing academic esoterica in the standards
>>This list provides more examples of that than anything else (short of

The conception of XML-DEV was that it should act as a medium for people to
develop and support XML, primarily through the contribution of code
(especially OpenSource) and other resources (designs, protocols, examples,
tutorials, etc.) I would contend that it has been extremely successful in
this and that it has held fairly closely to this main track. The most
obvious example is SAX - virtual conductor David Megginson with 100-strong
orchestra - but XSchema is a worthy successor. The very recent discussion
on xml:encoded/packed/content also shows how a simple but critical idea can
be discussed quickly and taken forward. I am hoping very much that
something comes out of the current discussion on Objects. And there is a
constant stream of announcements of resources.

>> Can we stop arguing about what are essentially personal, political
>> and/or philosophical positions and get back to xml development
>> issues? I can't believe I'm reading about whether or not
>> "acceptation" is "sui generis"...
>I was surprised to learn that this discussion had no bearing on XML
>development issues.  I have long thought that a necessary part of
>understanding a problem is touring its perimeter.  Of course, one
>man's perimeter is another man's outlands.
In the early days of the list I occasionally gently suggested that
'discussion' - as opposed to action - should be limited. But I have taken a
more relaxed view recently. Personally I would like to see more *action* on
name management - I don't believe that FPIs will be very much use in XML
unless something provides a way of them working. We have already had an
initiative on this list to develop Catalogs for XML and that would be
extremely useful. Software for processing and normalising FPIs would also
be welcome (since the syntax is still opaque to me).

So - although *I'm* an academic - most of the members of this list aren't
and most (including me) have to justify the time they spend on it. I think
you'll find that for a voluntary virtual community with no real-life
organisation other than Henry Rzepa, me and a 'free' list-serv the
productivity is very high.

A general phenomenon is that *names* and *classifications* are extremely
likely to cause differences of opinion - not just here, anywhere.  These
can get very heated.

My next posting will be a concrete proposal for the creation of an API for
element-oriented programming. I'm optimistic we shall make progress...


Peter Murray-Rust, Director Virtual School of Molecular Sciences, domestic
net connection
VSMS http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/vsms, Virtual Hyperglossary

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