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   Re: Dangers of Subsetting? (was RE: Pull-based XML parsers?)

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  • From: "Clark C. Evans" <cce@clarkevans.com>
  • To: Rick JELLIFFE <ricko@geotempo.com>
  • Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2000 12:07:28 -0500 (EST)

On Sat, 11 Nov 2000, Rick JELLIFFE wrote:
> The innovation that Mike is talking about, the ability to use the name
> of a clearly specified technology developed by a known group of people
> with a known set of intents, but alter it in any way that one sees fit,
> might be called "lying" by some, and "passing off" by others, but most
> importantly is also called "embrace and extend".

I believe you have very much mis-represented Mike Champion's comment.  
No where has Mike suggested that people *alter* XML in any way they
see fit and advertise their product as XML.

  (a) Some of the W3C's standards are very large and take
      months, perhaps even years to fully understand and
      implement properly. 

  (b) With the W3C's recommendations, the 80/20 rule holds.
      A very useful subset of a recommendation, providing
      80% of the benefit can often be generated with 20%
      of the effort.  While, the remaining 20% to obtain
      a full implementation takes far longer.

  (c) Our marketplace is a "ship or die" marketplace, and often
      vendors *must* ship a product fully knowing that 100% of
      the W3C recommendation was not implemented (or is not 
      quite right).

The question he puts forth is simple.  Given the above 
constraints, does it not make sence to try and identify 
the 20%, give it a name, like "Common XML".  So that as
vendors, lone hackers, etc., implement W3C specifications
they have a better chance of implementing their first pass
in a way which will *maximize* interoperability in our 
less-than-perfect world?

> If Mike does does not believe in interoperability, that is fine, but
> please don't spoil the party for the rest of us.  

On the contrary, I think he believes in interoperability 
more than many others as he does not see complance as an 
all-or-nothing game.    CommonXML is a shining example of 
this push for interoperability in our less than perfect world.

Kind regards,

Clark Evans


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