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   Good Standards Writers Steal

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  • From: David Megginson <david@megginson.com>
  • To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
  • Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2000 18:40:13 -0400 (EDT)

Gavin Thomas Nicol writes:
 > > Everything else in the W3C other than DOM has been 
 > > bogged down and taking forever. 
 > >
 > > A non-W3C effort that has been miraculous has been 
 > > SAX and SAX-2.
 > Both of these efforts, as I noted, are also influenced
 > by previous experience. Actually, SVG might be another
 > for the list of rapidly developed specs, and for the
 > same reasons.

Of course they were -- SAX was basically just a standardised ESIS-like
API, with influence from the simplified SP API as well.  XML was
influenced by SGML, which was heavily influenced by GML, which was
heavily influenced by the phototypesetting languages of the 1960s and
1970s as well as the many other delimited data formats that have been
floating around for the last 40 years.

Anyone who tries to write a standard that isn't based on a lot of
prior art is simply wasting our time -- for standards writers,
innovation is a sometimes-necessary evil, but it should never be a

All the best,


David Megginson                 david@megginson.com


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