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- From: Marcus Carr <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- To: Richard Goerwitz <email@example.com>
- Date: Fri, 19 Mar 1999 13:01:26 +1100
Richard Goerwitz wrote:
> You are right in observing that these industries have all profited from
> SGML-based descriptive markup. You are wrong if you are also asserting
> that there isn't any room for dramatic improvement (e.g., in the area of
I completely agree that there's room for dramatic improvement. In fact, I consider myself to
be one of those SGML people who is encouraging XML's growth and development, not one clinging
desperately to a high-paying SGML job. (I think Sasquatch Inc. is hiring, but you have to be
willing to relocate to Loch Ness.)
> I come from a small shop that does a lot of SGML work. Trust me: SGML
> is complex and intractable. Software that works with it is scarce and
> often expensive, and too often doesn't work very well. Just because a
> giant telco firm can muster the personnel to deal with SGML doesn't make
> it a particularly elegant solution, except by way of comparison with
> approaches that use non-standard or presentation-focused languages.
I also come from a small company that has been making a living principally out of SGML for
almost a decade. I understand very well the complexity associated with SGML; I have been doing
it for very a long time. In my experience, large organisations tend to come to small firms
rather than implement solutions themselves - they're looking for elegance, not muscle.
> The growing realization that DTDs are insufficient for XML is not a
> result of mindless SGML bashing. Nor does it represent a failure to ap-
> preciate how great a leap SGML was in the 80s. This realization is,
> rather, just something implementors are coming to after painful experi-
> ences trying to make DTDs work with XML.
So... how do we get back to SGML people not having their eyes open? I accept and agree that
not everything about SGML works in XML. That's not the issue; not even the most fervent
supporter of SGML would argue that the issues are identical for SGML and XML. That's the whole
> I'm increasingly looking on the original SGML-compatibility goal for
> XML as a necessary political move - but one that should be shed at the
> earliest convenient opportunity.
> This doesn't mean we should shed all the experience that the SGML com-
> munity can bring to the table, of course.
Again, I don't necessarily disagree with either of these statements, but that wasn't what I
was posting about. I just think that we should be grown-up enough not to feel that we have to
eat our young (or in this case, our parents).
Marcus Carr email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Allette Systems (Australia) www: http://www.allette.com.au
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."
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