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Re: An open plea to the W3C (was Re: XInclude vs SAX vs

Apparently we're not the only ones comparing XML complexity and
usefulness to programming languages.  This came (in a different context)
from a friend of mine, who prefers to be known here as "anonymous

> XML Schema seems far too bloated and complex.
> Here's a quote from Edsger Dijkstra;  he was
> talking about programming languages, but I think it applies 
> wonderfully well here.

Edgser W. Dijkstra/ Turing Award Lecture/
Communications of the ACM, Vol. 15, Number 10,
October 1972

Finally, although the subject is not a pleasant one, I must
mention  PL/I, a programming language for which the
defining documentation is of a frightening size and
complexity. Using PL/I must be like flying a plane with
7,000 buttons, switches, and handles to manipulate in the
cockpit.   I absolutely fail to see how we can keep our
growing programs firmly within our intellectual grip when
by its sheer baroqueness the programming language - our
basic tool, mind you! - already escapes our intellectual
control. And, if I have to describe the influence PL/I can
have on its users, the closest metaphor that comes to my
mind is that of a drug.  I remember from a symposium on
higher level programming languages a lecture given in
defense of PL/I by a man who described himself as one of
its devoted users. But within a one-hour lecture in praise
of PL/I, he managed to ask for the addition of about 50 new
"features," little supposing that the main source of his
problems could very well be that it contained already far
too many "features." The speaker displayed all the
depressing symptoms of addiction, reduced as he was to the
state of mental stagnation in which he could only ask for
more, more, more.... When FORTRAN has been called an
infantile disorder, PL/I, with its growth characteristics
of a dangerous tumor, could turn out to be a fatal disease.

Simon St.Laurent