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   RE: Origins of XML

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  • From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <clbullar@ingr.com>
  • To: XML-Dev <xml-dev@xml.org>
  • Date: Fri, 16 Jun 2000 08:08:00 -0500

Cat fights are always a good show. 
Can we say, behavior attribute?. :-)
I am starting a web site where XML 
newcomers can purchase a set of 
ceramic letters "ISO SGML".  Before 
every XML presentation they make, 
they take a rubber mallet and smash 
it then tell their audience they want
to get past the traditional bashing 
quickly and get on to the good parts. 
That has to be funnier than "SGML is just a 
pain in the ass" as a recent speaker 
here told his audience.

An overview should also include the period 
when comp-text-sgml was in its heyday, the 
CALS projects particularly Caporlette, Botticelli, 
et al who slaved over the IETM specs specing and creating 
most of the early functional server side SGML 
databases, the Army work that put cheap 
stylesheet-driven hypertext on a Windows 
platform, the 28001 work on the FOSI, the 
work in Europe on AECMA that incorporated 
the best of the American efforts and provided 
a really modular DTD, the earliest work on 
Gencoding that kicked it all off, the papers 
of deRose et al in the hypermedia publications, 
etc, the long long long deliberations of the 
SGML ISO working group who spent 
years on the road before e-mail and lists 
relieved the airlines of a bit of profit.

It was a long road to where developers accept 
the use of markup technologies and some folks, 
notably Charles Goldfarb and his collegues put away 
wealth and advantage to ensure open systems. 
We didn't get all of this for nothing.  Some 
folks paid the price.  XML is a distillation 
and before we get too enthralled with the 
XML SIG and WG work, we have to remember we 
started out with running code and smoother 
consensus than any group in the short history 
of the W3C.

And we still had to fight like cats.. must be 
the fun part of design work and we love it.

Len Bullard

Ekam sat.h, Vipraah bahudhaa vadanti.
Daamyata. Datta. Dayadhvam.h

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