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

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  • From: "Michael Champion" <Mike.Champion@softwareag-usa.com>
  • To: <xml-dev@XML.ORG>
  • Date: Sun, 9 Jul 2000 01:10:35 -0400

Simon St. Laurent writes:

> > 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.

Matt Sergent replies:

> 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.

and Paulo Gaspar replies:

> I am only going to point out a few issues that (IMHO) contribute a lot
> to this situation:
>  1. Lack of introductory articles with visibility to programmers,
>     mostly in the WWW, that show the articulate use of those best
>     practices;
>  2. Lack of solid "easy-to-use-and-learn" tools;
>  3. DTD's.

Perhaps the point Simon was trying to make is not that there is a "problem"
with people not using all the tools in the official W3C toolbox ... but that
there is far more in the official W3C toolbox than most people have use for.
Matt Sergent and Paulo Gaspar make quite reasonable points about how to make
everything more useful and accessible, I'm not quarreling at all with them.

I'm simply stressing my agreement with Simon's suggestion to slow down,
focus on the fundamentals, and remember very clearly that it is the
*simplicity* of XML that brought us to the party we're having.  Maybe the
simple users of XML *have* read good introductory articles and have found
easy to use tools ... and are happily applying them to real problems,
bissfully oblivious to RDF, XLink, XML Schema structures, etc., and don't
give a rip whether a namespace name is a true RFC 2396 URI reference or not.

I suspect that the "simple uses of XML" are not fully adequate to meet these
users' needs and that the XML community should provide more and better
tools.  But let's listen to what the mainstream users are asking for:  They
may simply want sharper knives that don't rust, while we're offering them
Veg-a-Matic's ("it slices, it dices ... but wait, there's more!").

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