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

I have quietly watched this list for the last four months
due to my interest in and use of XML. I know my way around most
of the XML specifications and have participated in a book on
XML. While by no means an expert or necessarily advanced with
what I know I have realized a few things. I am a big fan of XML.
I find myself finding ways to use XML and some of the excellent
tools out there, specifically tools in Java quite often.

I see some incredibly smart people on this list with some very
in depth and thoughtful discussions that easily blow away most
other lists in their depth and scope. I also see that this almost
seems to be the bane of XML as we know it. I have honestly given
up on trying to figure out what it means to be an "XML Purist".

XML is a tool, the idea of XML is damn simple. There are a few
ugly spots, but I do believe and agree with Simon. XML has become
incredibly complex to the point where it is asinine to spend
to much time figuring out how all of the pieces fit together.

The X_Anything recommendations come out so fast that I feel
my knowledge is continually antiquated before I even obtain
it. Honestly, I just use XML and make my use of it pragmatic
and thoughtful. I do my best to make my usage understandable
to others and intelligent. It just seems that there is so much
going on in the XML world that it would be impossible to even
honestly implement a fraction of what is out there  before the
next new thing comes out. It is honestly quite frustrating to
a degree.

Just figured I would pipe up :)


Jeremy Allen

-----Original Message-----
From: Simon St.Laurent [mailto:simonstl@simonstl.com]
Sent: Tuesday, November 13, 2001 9:17 AM
To: Jonathan Borden
Cc: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Doing less is all a matter of perspective was
Re:[xml-dev] IDs considered harmful

On Tue, 2001-11-13 at 08:51, Jonathan Borden wrote:
> 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
> of XML 1.0 that are not frequently used and redesigning XML to be better.
> concern is that the attempt to redesign XML (e.g. XML 2.0) will be worse
> better. I am willing to be convinced otherwise.

At this point I'm not sure I care very much where XML per se heads. I
think it's been clear for a long while that XML's future has little to
do with the original philosophy of XML 1.0.  What began as a prudent
simplification has long since been hijacked and turned into yet another
exercise in complexity.  About all that seems to remain is some small
chance of reading data by hand as it goes across the wire.

So I'm perfectly happy to throw away the parts of XML 1.0 that seemed
extraneous from the outset, keeping only a basic notion of labeled
structured content. I'll call that 'markup' until I find a better term,
and (perhaps) politely ignore efforts that demand using more than that.

Going back to those basics seems more likely to me to keep XML from
exploding into lunatic complexity than does continued endorsement of
various tree-decorating schemes.  That these decorations have no
canonical representation in instance form - no, I don't count the
internal subset for that - is yet another cause for concern.

> I agree that we should get on with doing more, but that means building
> 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.

The pyramid's been upside down for years now.  Compare pretty much any
spec built on XML 1.0 to XML 1.0.  (Namespaces in XML is an exception,
but I'll refrain from calling it a good one given the years of circular
discussion it's produced.)

Simon St.Laurent
"Every day, in every way, I'm getting better and better." - Emile Coue

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