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Re: XML Blueberry
- From: David Brownell <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- To: John Cowan <email@example.com>
- Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 12:13:54 -0700
> >>This is a proposal for a new BACKWARDS INCOMPATIBLE version of XML.
> > Doesn't sound desirable, at least to me.
> I am not sure what "backwards incompatible" is supposed to mean
> in this context.
Oh, clearly it means: a Bad Thing (tm)!
> Old parsers won't be able to read Blueberry
> documents, that's true.
I think that's the key point. It creates "islands of (non)interoperability",
fragmenting a landscape that really deserves stabilization instead of
more earth tremors.
> Do you still worry about 2.x browsers when designing Web sites?
> No? Then those "basic tools" are obsolete.
If XML is the "ASCII of the Web", then the correct analogy is
more like making all the existing ASCII tools obsolete. What
I meant by "basic tools" is something with that level of adoption,
and that low a change rate (RS-232, the definition of a meter,
and so on). HTML hasn't achieved that level of stability.
Whoever coined that "ASCII of the Web" meme either missed,
or explicitly avoided, addressing the role of Unicode. I tend to
think it was the latter option, considering all the exceptions XML
made to the Unicode rules for character classes. As it stands,
the XML 1.0 spec is effectively independent of changes from the
Unicode consortium, but still leverages Unicode where it's most
essential (representation of text, not markup).
> > I _almost_ have sympathy for IBM (and their mainframe customers)
> > here ... but OS-specific line-ends are sooo last-century.
> If CR-by-itself wasn't a legal XML 1.0 line end, and Macintosh
> users were screaming that XML discriminated against their plain
> text tools, would you have the same almost-sympathy for them?
That hypothetical situation differs in at least one key respect from
this real one with IBM. Macintosh users have always had access
to ASCII, while it seems this IBM line-end is a legacy from the days
that IBM fought ASCII because it was too open, and threated to
decimate their cardpunch/terminal/... margins by facilitating the
creation of interoperable commodity infrastructure.