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   Re: XML complexity, namespaces (was WG)

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  • From: "Rick Jelliffe" <ricko@allette.com.au>
  • To: <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Tue, 23 Mar 1999 13:40:32 +1100

 From: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org 

>Well if you are an SGML user who is not
>a) involved in furthering the XML effort, or
>b) involved in slowing down the XML effort
>then I didn't categorise you at all, since I was speaking of only two
>particular portions of the "old SGML community". There are, of course
>other portions; and there are, of course, other communities.
It would be interesting if Chris would name names and give examples. 

Who are these portions of the "old SGML community"? Is it 
Steve Newcomb  or Dave Megginson or Paul Prescod or Dave 
Peterson or even me? I think it is dishonest argument to allude to 
sinister forces without naming them or their particular views. 
Frankly, it makes it sound like Chris is inventing bogus boogymen 
as an argument for moving XML in non-standard directions. 

Who are these people from the community formerly known as 
SGML who are involved in "slowing down the XML effort"?  
I don't believe they exist.  In fact, it sounds like "slowing down
the XML effort" is synonymous in Chris' mind with "wanting
XML to be standard", which has certainly not been demonstrated:
in fact, there are calls for greater layering, not for increased 

It should be plain to everyone by now that W3C specifications 
are not treated by vendors as standards which should be strictly
adhered to: they are treated as sources of APIs which can be 
embraced and extended, or partially implemented.  W3C does
not have the authority to check, demand or expect conformance:
either moral or legal. A W3C spec needs all the help it can get
to ensure complete implementation: being an ISO standard helps.

One can see the same attitude at work with the MIME RFC: it
was thoroughly debated by the XML WG and SIG, with input
from other major goups such as WebDAV, and has been out for
quite a while. But if someone doesn't agree they are quite happy to
be non-conforming. Standards are a discipline: it is easy to 
diverge and difficult to interoperate.

Rick Jelliffe

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