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   RE: The Power of Groves

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  • From: rev-bob@gotc.com
  • To: xml-dev@xml.org
  • Date: 11 Feb 2000 17:08:03 -0500

> ** Original Sender: Len Bullard <cbullard@hiwaay.net>
> Peter Murray-Rust wrote:
> > 
> > Groves are hard for people like me because they are abstract. 
> And by working examples, current problems, and pending opportunities, 
> this thread is devoted to changing that by showing they aren't 
> that abstract, they are just named weirdly.

I'm not even sure the name is so weird.  Granted, I haven't been following
this topic (ahem) religiously, but so far, my initial reaction to the name doesn't
seem too far afield.  What's a grove, I wondered?  Well, in the natural world,
it's a collection of trees - and we all know what trees are.  Say, "tree" has a
specific meaning in the programming field, not to mention the realm of markup
- you don't suppose the name "grove" was chosen to represent a collection of
tree-structured thingies, do you?  But then I said, naah, that'd be way too simple
a concept for all these movers and shakers to have such a rough time with it.

Wouldn't it?

Please, tell me there's more hideousness to the concept than that.  ;)

> > The problem for groves is marketing, 
> Not yet. The problem first is for us to prove to ourselves 
> and the rest of the list the utility.  The way is to use 
> them and apply them here in examples until we are all 
> conversant.  Until there is an AHA from the rest of the 
> markup community, then our biggest problem is the obscurity 
> of the descriptions.  SGML was once treated in the same 
> light.  As long as we dealt exclusively in the language 
> of generic identifiers, notation declarations, document 
> type definitions, top-forward parsing, and so forth, 
> the language of The SGML Way, we lost a lot of ground.  
> Standards are written that way for a reason.  Selah, 
> but as soon as we relaxed and quit beating people up 
> for saying "tagname", we got a bit further.  We need a 
> slightly relaxed and intuitive parlance for open 
> discussions.  We don't have to invent groves.  That's 
> done.  We want to apply them.  If we can get that 
> AHA, using the fifty word or less descriptions, we 
> have a shot at that.

So - have I hit the AHA without realizing it, or should I just hush up
and pay closer attention to the thread?
> Moreover, I am deeply concerned that as the web 
> continues to get harder to build for, we will lose something 
> we need:  new blood, artistic talent, worthy art, all because 
> we made it too damm hard.  Then the artists have no recourse 
> but to surrender to the Sonys and Microsofts of the world 
> who will give them all the candy they can eat as long as 
> they send the coupons back.

I must confess, this is one thing I don't get: why does XML need
an API?  I mean, here I am handcoding XHTML transmogrifications,
and I still have no idea why I should/could get interested in SAX.  I'm
not writing a program; I'm authoring content.  Text, plus some markup
to indentify what this part is and what that object is.  What am I not
getting about the process; where does the API come in?  Why do I
need a DOM, and who's writing to it...and what are they writing?

 Rev. Robert L. Hood  | http://rev-bob.gotc.com/
  Get Off The Cross!  | http://www.gotc.com/


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