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   Re: Will XML change the character of W3C?

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  • From: "Thomas B. Passin" <tpassin@home.com>
  • To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
  • Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2000 15:12:39 -0400

Len Bullard wrote -

> From: Amy Lewis [mailto:amyzing@talsever.com]
> On Mon, Oct 16, 2000 at 09:09:07AM -0500, Bullard, Claude
L (Len) wrote:
> >>Here's the rub: XML Is Not a W3C Success.
> >I disagree.  Emphatically.
> Noted. I wrote a reply that I just sent to the o-file.  My
advice to
> you is to study up on SGML Declarations, and investigate
the history
> of SGML hypertext applications such as EBT's DynaBook, US
Army IADS,
> and browser tech SoftQuad licensed.  You will discover
that many of the
> features you consider innovations were already implemented
prior to
> 1996.  XML is a victory for the markup community in that
it proves
> by demonstration the principles of markup developed over
> years and much effort.  That community is considerably
> larger and older than the W3C individuals associated with
the development
> of HTML and XML, and in many cases, are the same
> len

It may have taken all that experience to develop xml as it
currently exists, but that's not what led to the success of
HTML and xml.  HTML succeeded, I'm sure, because of three

1) Anyone can write HTML, basically without training, just
by looking at a few samples and experimenting.  Maybe they
can't use all its capabilities, and maybe they turn out
"bad" HTML, but it worked for what they wanted it.

With xml, lots of people saw the same thing - they could
write useful xml without much of a learning curve and it
would be useful for their purposes.

2) Free servers and browsers, and non-commercial people who
ran servers so there would be some places to store and find

3) Free or low-cost access - the internet, in other words.

All three of these are in place for xml too (well, maybe not
browsers but at least processors) , and - surprise - it's
been taking off.  That's not because of the SGML background
(although maybe we wouldn't have it without those old markup
hands), and it's not because of the W3C specifically
(although maybe without its hosting of the xml activity we
wouldn't have xml now).  I read Len's statement - about xml
not being a W3C success - in this sense.

Other W3C Recs that don't have all of these items in place
may not fare so well.  And if they do, ***they*** will be
more of a real W3C "success story".


Tom Passin


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