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   Re: SAX RFD: ModSAX Predefined Features

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  • From: "Bill la Forge" <b.laforge@jxml.com>
  • To: "David Megginson" <david@megginson.com>, "XML Developers' List" <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Sun, 7 Mar 1999 23:34:26 -0500


I am very much inclined to agree with you that the conservative approach
taken in implementing SAX was necessary to its broad acceptance
at that time.

However, broad acceptance of a SAX upgrade may require a different 
approach. For one thing, the very success of SAX has itself changed things.

The primary requirement is backward compatibility for both parsers and 

A second requirement is that the upgrade not be conservative, but that it
be a significant enhancement from a wide range of perspectives.

The upgrade needs to be worth doing, but for more than one reason. Feature
negotiation alone is not quite enough.

I'm sure you know the kinds of things I'm looking for: 
    o  Event objects for one.
    o  A way to specify a filter to a DOM-building-parser is another. 
    o  Better integration with the DOM in general.
I'm sure others have their own feature list.

We need to define a collection of new capabilities that have wide appeal,
together with an implementation strategy which provides full backward
compatibility. And for this group, it needs to be something that can be
implemented cleanly. 

I still feel like a newbie here. I wasn't here when SAX was done. But I 
would hate to see the initiative lost to the traditional standards bodies.

As I see it, there are two advantages to doing the work on this list:
    1. It is open to individuals. The cost to participate is measured only
        in the time it takes.
    2. This is the world's toughest bunch of critics. The folks here plan
        to implement the proposals themselves. And any proposal that isn't
        clean is going to be revised until it can be easily implemented.
And as much as the first point is what allows me to participate, it is
the second point that is the real winner. A standards body whose participants
are largely from large companies have more to gain from a spec that
is difficult to implement--it limits the competition.

So that's why I'm butting in here. I think an open standards process is
important for individuals and small companies. We need to do what we
can to keep the ball rolling here.


From: David Megginson <david@megginson.com>

>What:   Four proposed predefined features for ModSAX
>Action: Please read and comment (especially to propose core features
>        I've missed)

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