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   Re: power uses of XML vs. simple uses of XML

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  • From: Matt Sergeant <matt@sergeant.org>
  • To: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>
  • Date: Sat, 8 Jul 2000 17:42:00 +0100 (BST)

On Sat, 8 Jul 2000, Simon St.Laurent wrote:

> I've spent the last few years writing for and teaching folks outside of the
> core community, and I'm starting to wonder if maybe it's time for the core
> to slow down, take a look around, and figure out why more people aren't
> using all the tools - even the stable ones - we're providing.  

The problem is that we're not providing the tools. We're providing the
specs. That's a whole different ball game. If tools existed for actually
making really interesting use of RDF and XLink and XInclude then people
would use them. If IE and/or Mozilla supported the full gammut of specs,
from XSLT 1.0 to XLink and XInclude (OK, so they're not quite REC's, but
with time...) then you would find people using them more. Especially
XLink. Bob DuCharme's talk at XMLDevCon about XLink was interesting, but
without browser (or even any other application) support, its a fairly dull

Of course a lot of people have better things to do with their time than
develop code that implements the specs only to give it away to the
community. XPath is a small spec (by comparison to some), but it took a
labour of love for me to implement a compliant parser for it. And the
payoffs tend to be virtually non-existant.

I think namespaces is something different - the more people use XML in a
variety of ways the more likely they are to need namespaces eventually.
And a lot of real tools are using namespaces right now. The problem of
namespaces was (possibly) parser support: SAX1 didn't support namespaces,
and SAX2 is pretty new. DOM level 2 isn't a REC yet, so namespaces in DOM
are "experimental" to some degree. But the tools exist to manipulate
XML with namespaces, most importantly XSLT and XPath, and good
implementations of those tools exist to make life easier.

So the question is should we stop and look back? Probably - but summer is
a terrible time for looking back - that's what New Year's are for ;-)


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