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RE: [xml-dev] Re: determining ID-ness in XML
- From: "Champion, Mike" <Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com>
- To: email@example.com
- Date: Mon, 05 Nov 2001 10:51:01 -0500
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bullard, Claude L (Len) [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Monday, November 05, 2001 9:14 AM
> To: Christopher R. Maden; email@example.com
> Subject: RE: [xml-dev] Re: determining ID-ness in XML
> ID resolution in this case should be reliable.
Christopher Maden, and Tim Bray (repeatedly!) made the point that the
success of the web was founded on the NON-requirement for reliability.
Indeed, the whole point of the internet itself was to do as well as possible
in a non-reliable networking environment. I respect the fact that Len
(apparently?) gets paid to build designed-in reliable and secure solutions,
but this cannot IMHO be a requirement for infrastructure such as XML. I
suspect that Len profoundly disagrees and I'm gonna get my head handed to me
I saw something in Joel Sapolsky's weblog the other day that may be apropos
to this discussion:
"Pretend that your reader is lazy, stupid, and mean. He's lazy in that he
doesn't want to figure out what your convoluted sentences are supposed to
mean, and he doesn't want to figure out what your argument is, if it's not
already obvious. He's stupid, so you have to explain everything you say to
him in simple, bite-sized pieces. And he's mean, so he's not going to read
your paper charitably."
Substitute "the authors of software you have to deal with" for "your reader"
and perhaps one will see the analogy: XML processors have to operate in an
unfriendly environment, so assuming that everyone will play by the rules is
the road to ruin. We need a way to define ID-ness that works in an
environment where the supplier and consumer of the XML both agree on the
definition, but that degrades gracefully if one or the other do not.
> Again: requirements.
I definitely agree on one thing: We need to figure out whether this
discussion is aimed at persuading the W3C to change the "system vocabulary"
to support IDs without requiring external DTDs/Schemas, or whether it is --
in the tradition of SAX and RDDL -- aimed at producing a convention that is
orthogonal to the W3C's Recommendions. The former strongly suggests
attributes, but the latter more or less demands PIs, as well as some
"political" work to make PIs less of an endangered species.
> If it takes 20 years, we are idiots.
In 20 years we'll probably look like idiots no matter what we do :~) The
best we can hope for is to do something that looks overwhelmingly obvious in