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Doing less is all a matter of perspective was Re: [xml-dev] IDs considered harmful

Simon St.Laurent wrote:

> On Tue, 2001-11-13 at 08:33, Jonathan Borden wrote:
> > In our rush to 'move beyond' DTDs we sometimes neglect
> > the lowly internal subset which _is_ instance data, so for example
> > specifications like SOAP which are now stuck with the inability to have
> > (shrug).
> I'm not sure I'm willing to describe the internal subset as instance
> data, to be honest.  To me it's metadata which is encapsulated inside
> the document, basically a historical accident of the peculiar rights
> given to non-validating parsers.

One person's metadata is another person's data. :-))

I do think I understand your objection, but wish to suggest that perhaps the
reason for giving non-validating parsers this right was for purposes such as
those being discussed. Perhaps I am giving too much credit.

> After years of meddling with XML interoperability and the lack of it, I
> can't say that I've seen much evidence of the internal subset doing any
> substantial good in these matters.
> I'd rather do less so I can get on with doing more.

This is of course the crux of the issue: Does _doing less_ mean making do
with what we have and minimizing the need for new specifications that
duplicate current capabilities, or does _doing less_ mean throwing out parts
of XML 1.0 that are not frequently used and redesigning XML to be better. My
concern is that the attempt to redesign XML (e.g. XML 2.0) will be worse not
better. I am willing to be convinced otherwise.

I agree that we should get on with doing more, but that means building upon
what we have -- creating a pyramid that uses what we have as a foundation,
rather than adding more and more on top while we chip away at the base --
that would be an upside down pyramid.