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Re: Presumption of XML's Stability (was RE: XML Blueberry (non-ASCIIname characters in Japan))

At 12:59 PM -0400 7/9/01, Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com wrote:

Hmm.  If that is true, one wonders why the drafters of the XML spec saw fit to
put a version number in the header; version number 1.0 presumes that
there will be a 1.1 or a 2.0 someday.

No it doesn't. To quote from the spec, "It is the intent of the XML working group to give later versions of this specification numbers other than '1.0', but this intent does not indicate a commitment to produce any future versions of XML, nor if any are produced, to use any particular numbering scheme. Since future versions are not ruled out, this construct is provided as a means to allow the possibility of automatic version recognition, should it become necessary."

In other words, the WG wasn't sure whether there might or might not be a need for an additional version, so they left the door open, but they didn't commit to walking through it.

In fact, the WG succeeded way beyond what they could have plausibly expected. Necessary extensions like namespaces, schemas, XLink, XML Base, and more have all been able to be built on top of XML 1.0 without changing XML 1.0. Other features such as exclusions and minimization that may have been intended for an XML 1.1 or 2.0 have simply proved not to be as necessary as people thought. After four years of working with XML 1.0, we realize that we don't need them. On the flip side, real problems that have been discovered in XML 1.0 (attribute value normalization, C1 controls) have not been so bad that we can't live with them.

| Elliotte Rusty Harold | elharo@metalab.unc.edu | Writer/Programmer |
|          The XML Bible, 2nd Edition (Hungry Minds, 2001)           |
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