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

I would like to second this sentiment.  I've been working with XML since 
very early on, and feel competent yet far from an expert.  Saying you are 
an "XML developer" seems to me like saying you are a doctor.  What is your 
specialty?  By itself it is too vague.  Any one spec can take a ton of time 
to digest.  Beyond that, some of them are moving targets.  Example: I've 
been working with xforms a lot lately, and find myself with more questions 
now than when I went into it.

DOM vs SAX, w3c DOM vs dom4j vs JDOM, schema vs DTDs - the truth is that no 
matter what your choices are, you will be unable to find a consensus 
stating the correctness or incorrectness of your choices.  So the only 
thing you can do, at the end of the day, is try to at least understand what 
your options are and what they offer you in tradeoffs, and as you stated, 
make thoughtful decisions, and maybe cross your fingers.  The problem is 
that the more damn specs there are, it becomes more and more of a full time 
job keeping up with and understanding the ramifications of all of 
them.  When do you code?  I often wonder do what degree some of the people 
who spend seemingly endless amounts of time around specs are actually able 
to devote Real Time to writing Real Applications too?  I think your post 
represents a very large number of "silent" people out there following this 
and other lists as well.  I think a lot of people look at all of these 
posts and say to themselves "damn, this is way beyond me."  But I don't 
think this is necessarily the case.

For what it's worth, from a long-time XML developer who still feels behind 
the curve,

Open Source Java & XML Components

At 09:47 AM 11/13/2001 -0500, Jeremy Allen wrote:
>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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