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RE: XML and SGML
- From: Rod Davison <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- To: email@example.com
- Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2001 15:25:23 -0400
I've been following the discussion and, being an advocate of both XML and
SGML, I thought I should throw in my two cents worth.
As I understand it, there are two distinct activities that occur on the web
which I see being lumped together in these discussions. The first activity
is browsing and the second activity is the exchange of data between
applications over the web/Internet/intranet.
SGML is designed for documention. A browser is a tool to render marked-up
documentation into a form formatted for human readability. In this usage
SGML is superior to XML, and it makes sense that we should have SGML browsers
because this gives enterprises a way to... well ... browse ... their
repositories of SGML documentation. Which in many domains is considerable --
millions of pages in aerospace, and I'm sure the Aussie Hansard is
considerably more. So, why on earth would we want to abandon SGML browsers
for XML browsers?
XML is designed for data transer, or at least that is my understanding, and
most XML documents are not going to be viewed by people but be generated by
one application, squirted over to another applicaiton which parses it and
throws away the XML. once it has wrung the data out of the document.
(Simplfying the process perhaps)
Remember the SGML was not developed as a internet data exchange tool -- at
the time there was also a Berlin Wall, Watergate was still a hot topic and
Disco ruled. SGML is industrial strength and more than we need for this data
transfer, especially when we have to write those applications. XML was
designed as a data exchange tool, not as a competitor to SGML.
Two good tools that work well when you use them for their intended purpose.