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   Re: Feeling good about SML

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  • From: "Michael Champion" <Mike.Champion@softwareag-usa.com>
  • To: "XML Dev" <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1999 09:13:21 -0500

----- Original Message -----
From: Mark Birbeck <Mark.Birbeck@iedigital.net>
To: 'Robert La Quey' <robertl1@home.com>; XML Dev <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
Sent: Friday, November 19, 1999 1:25 AM
Subject: RE: Feeling good about SML

> Anyway, I do think we should aim up not down; rather than trying to
> throw away stuff which is of fundamental significance, let's develop
> things that make those important techniques easier to take advantage of.

That's precisely what Don Park is doing -- trying to get us to figure out
what in XML is of "fundamental significance", and what is merely residue of
the SGML legacy and impedes understanding, implementing, processing, and
using XML in the real world.

> The guys on the WebDAV list, for example,
> are not discussing whether their spec is too complicated.
> They're getting on trying to solve conceptual problems

At the risk of decending into another "Frequently Flamed Topic", we can
applaud the W3C process that got an XML spec to the world in a timely
manner.  On the other hand, one reason the IETF isn't debating WebDAV's
bloatedness is because they spent a year or two publicly arguing about and
getting experience implementing drafts before the standard was cast in
stone.  (And, I might add, stripped it down to the point it doesn't even
have "versioning", even though that was part of the name of the activity).
The XML world got this experience *after* the spec came out ... and now
we're discussing what we've learned from it.

Is every bit of XML 1.0 of "fundamental significance"?  What are the
tradeoffs of offering a "legal" stripped-down version (or a mechanism to
negotiate the supported features between a document and a processor)? Does
footprint and processing speed matter in a world that will (some assert)
soon have cell phones with as much processing power as a 1994-vintage PC?  I
don't know, but it seems like a very worthwhile discussion to me!

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