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   Re: Who will maintain SAX?

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  • From: Michael Champion <mike.champion@softwareag-usa.com>
  • To: xml-dev <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
  • Date: Mon, 02 Oct 2000 16:55:52 +0200

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bill dehOra" <wdehora@cromwellmedia.co.uk>
To: "xml-dev" <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
Sent: Monday, October 02, 2000 4:47 PM
Subject: RE: Who will maintain SAX?

> The W3C aren't ostensibly in the API space: the DOM is a single exception
> that case. I can't see the w3c going any further down that road.
> SAX sounds like it belongs on something like sourceforge or just kept on
> xml-dev as a ding in sich. Someone will volunteer as benign dictator

The problem I see with this kind of approach is that there's increasing
concern among the consumers of XML that the standards are getting
more and more fragmented, and we're seeing lots of articles in the press
pointing this out.  Granted, many of them are "stupid XML articles" that
miss the point that XML is the EXTENSIBLE markup language, but others
specifically note the confusion as to what is a "standard".  For example,
I think we need to pay attention to the editor in chief of InfoWorld's
http://www.infoworld.com/articles/op/xml/00/08/28/000828opvizard.xml :

"Instead of just getting incomplete standards that lead to product
incompatibilities between vendors in the same category, we're now moving to
a situation where standards are potentially incompatible across diverse
product categories which absolutely need to work together.
The good news is that tolerance for this kind of nonsense in the business
community is starting to drop. "

This suggests to me that the diversity that has served us well to foster
innovation in the
area of XML APIs -- SAX, DOM, JDOM, JAXP, Trax, etc. -- works against
getting XML taken seriously in the IT shops of the world.  I think we've
learned enough to collectively build a common, consistent XML API suite for
parsing, tree manipulation, searching, transformation, serialization,
storage, etc. SAX is only one part of this picture, but I fear that keeping
it as a "ding in sich" (thing in itself?) will be seen as part of the
"nonsense" that the business community won't tolerate any more.

SOME credible standards organization ought to try to pull all this together.
Ideally (IMHO) it would be the W3C -- for all its faults, it has a
reasonable combination of competence, credibility, openness, and
flexibility. On the other hand, the other DOM people (I'm one of them)
haven't seen the integration of SAX, XPath, XSLT, etc. into the DOM API as a
priority, and the SAX people have not asked, so perhaps there's not much
point in pursuing that option. Still, I can't think of a better one... The
Open Group, the Open Applications Group, etc. all are possibilities, but
have steep membership fees too.

Is the objective of a single, platform neutral and vendor neutral XML API
suite unrealistic? Or is there some way that the choice of a SAX maintainer
can move us toward that objective?


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