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   XML, MicroSoft, Torquemada and Comics (was RE: XML in .NET - more thanju

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  • From: Anthony Channing <AnthonyC@101Ltd.com>
  • To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
  • Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2000 13:11:56 +0100

Hmm, maybe an adolescense spent reading SciFi comics
wasn't wasted after all.  It seems the philosophy presented
the story of Nemesis and Torquemada II (who incidentally
was apparently future incarnation of the original anyway,
and whose other incarnations included Hitler) is actually
quite relevent to discribing the interaction of XML and

Torquemada (like his medieval namesake) is a force for
conformity and order.  He is presented as an evil despot
who controls the human race.  He is the 'hate villian' of
the story.  

Nemesis is a strange alien creature with a horned and
hoofed 'diabolic' appearance, with strange powers and
chaotic and unpredictable ways.  Although the main
protagonist, and opponant of the 'hate villian', Nemesis
is not himself the hero (there is none).  He is merely
the balancing force and in his own way just as evil.

Now in general computing terms, MicroSoft can be likened
to Torquemada, because they are increasingly attempting to
control the entire computing world (and lets face it, how
many of us do not rely on atleast one MicroSoft product?).
Bill Gates has said it would be much easier if there was
just one company.  In other words he wants everyone to
conform to the MicroSoft ideal.  

Those who refuse to conform are not physically harmed,
but MicroSoft do attempt to erradicate all competition
so that your non-MicroSoft products will no longer be

In MicroSofts eyes, rival companies are the Nemesis',
the unpredictable and impure aliens that threaten to
currupt the computing world.  Users of rival products
are considered 'deviants' (well okay, maybe or maybe
not in quite so many words).  

But what about XML?  Where does it fit in?  XML is a
new standard.  In a sense it has its own purity and
sense of deviance.  MicroSoft have not yet fully
complied to XML, and so their efforts are considered
'deviant'.  This is why 'BE PURE, BE VIGILANT, 
BEHAVE' is a good moto for the XML community.
(Even if it is a quote from a fictional evil dictator)

XML will become devalued and meaningless (although
not useless) unless everyone sticks to pure XML.
If the goal of XML is to improve the intercommunication
of products within the computing world then it will
only work if the rules are followed.

Attempts to deviate from the pure specification 
will be made at various times.  Especially when
XML is still new and not fully implemented
across all apps and platforms.  MicroSoft in these
terms can be considered the biggest threat to
conformity, especially in a stage where they have
only half implemented XML into their products.
I think we need to respond in a way that both
encourages MicroSoft to continue in their
progress towards full implementation whilst
simultaneous put preassure on them to understand
that the semi-implementation is unnacceptable.
If they begin to lag behind the rest of the market
then its probably time for a sterner approach and
a blanket boycott of their products.

We must work together, creating mutually accepted
XML standards.  We must encourage companies to
not only use XML, but create universal XML standards
between similar applications.  

To use Joshua's Catholic analogy, MicroSoft are the
Roman Catholic company, claiming to be the one
true standard all must follow.

XML is a bit like Unitarian Universalism, or Agnosticism,
in that it provides a technology of belief that allows
all of the Religions (Companies) to define their belief
structures in ways that allow them to intercommunicate.

Have I been going on a bit?

101Media Ltd

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Sebastian Rahtz
> [SMTP:sebastian.rahtz@computing-services.oxford.ac.uk]
> Sent:	27 July 2000 09:10
> To:	joshuaa@microsoft.com
> Cc:	xml-dev@lists.xml.org
> Subject:	RE: XML in .NET - more than just SOAP?
> Joshua Allen writes:
>  > > > different Torquemada. yours was real, this was in a comic
>  > 
>  > Are we talking about the Torquemada who organized the
>  > torture and burning at stake of anyone who strayed in the 
>  > slightest bit from the liturgical dogma of the Catholic
>  > specifications?  Especially those people who claimed to
>  > follow the dogma but had previous religions that might
>  > taint their adherence to the new specs?
> good try, but no, not the same Torquemada. check out back copies of a
> comic called "2000 AD" from the early to mid 80s.
> can I just say (seriously) that the way you join in on on this list
> *does* do good for Microsoft?
> sebastian


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