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   It's time for practical XML!

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  • From: James Robertson <jamesr@steptwo.com.au>
  • To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Sat, 03 Oct 1998 23:27:34 +1000

Hi all,

I've just finished another couple of hours
wading through XML-DEV and XML-L, and I
confess my frustration has overtaken me.

I don't want to make a big deal about
this, but neither do I want it to rest
(and from the private mailings I have
received in the past from certain key
individuals, I know I am not alone).

It's time to stop writing standards.
I don't want to know about any more
*ML languages, however elegant they
are. We are now at the stage where
new standards are being submitted
faster than old ones are being finalised.

Now I know it is a lot more fun to
talk about the next gee-wiz solutions
to the world's problems, but we all
need to get stuck into some hard work.

A lot of people seem to be trying to
hit every target with XML, and most are
talking about "finding the killer app".

XML does not need a killer app. It is
not a solution unto itself. It is a 
handy tool for doing real-world work.

I have not participated in these discussions
on the whole, because I have been too busy
implmeneting SGML in the workplace, using
standard languages and off-the-shelf tools.

I want to be able to do the same with XML.

What we all need is:

* rock-solid XML parsers for every platform
  under the sun, especially business development
  tools like: Visual Basic, Delphi, Powerbuilder,

* Embedded XML editors for use in business-specific
  applications. These need to be ActiveX controls,
  Delphi VCLs and the like.

* Thousands of handy little tools that run without
  virtual machines, or other overhead, with simple
  interfaces, that make handling XML easy.

Most of these solutions need to be commercial,
with support, documentation, upgrade plans,
bug-fix releases. Business will not use unsupported
freeware, and they _will_ pay for the tools they

There are a lot of _exceedingly_ good developers
on this list.

To them I say: Please, please, stop writing new
specs, and help us all by writing real apps.



James Robertson
Step Two Designs Pty Ltd
SGML, XML & HTML Consultancy

"Beyond the Idea"
 ACN 081 019 623

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