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Re: The relentless march of abstraction (fwd)

John Cowan writes:

 > > There will be adoption where [XML is] as easy and forgiving as
 > > HTML was in 1994.
 > That will never happen, thanks to draconian error recovery.  Hopefully
 > XML will never become such a mess as HTML has become, either.

I think that client-side XML failed simply because it didn't fill a
big enough real need (HTML 4 is close enough), not because its error
handling was too hairy.  I agree with Dave Winer, however, that XML
violates the primary Internet law of being conservative in what you
produce but liberal in what you accept.

Interestingly, XML *has* succeeded in the server-side/B2B space,
precisely where the Draconian Error Recovery is an advantage rather
than a liability.  As a spec, XML naturally migrated to its most
appropriate habitat, just as Java did.  XML's error recovery is a
fascinating case of a design flaw (for its original, client-side
target) turning into an unexpected benefit.

All the best,


David Megginson                 david@megginson.com