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   RE: [xml-dev] XML and mainframes, yet again (was RE: [xml-dev] So me com

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: Elliotte Rusty Harold [mailto:elharo@metalab.unc.edu]
> Sent: Sunday, December 16, 2001 9:49 AM
> To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
> Subject: RE: [xml-dev] XML and mainframes, yet again (was RE: 
> [xml-dev]
> So me comments on the 1.1 draft)
> It doesn't matter what the Unicode spec or any other spec says should 
> be done with this character. What matters is what software actually 
> does with it. 

OK, I understand, and there's a lotta confusing legacy junk in the XML specs
that few implement properly I'd like to jettison too.  In some very real
sense, the specs ARE what people implement and use, so in the long run we
will get something simple and useable whatever the W3C and Unicode
consortium says to the contrary.  

BUT simply accepting the notion that "What matters is what software actually
does" is the first step down the road to a very frightful Hell in which Bill
Gates and Steve Ballmer are the head demons. If XML is what people use, and
people use what they get "for free" in Windows, then the rest of us will
soon be back to deconstructing the Microsoft format du jour rather than
looking to the standards to achieve interoperability.   Rick Jeliffe's
proposal to refactor XML in 1.1 to add new stuff at the validation layer
without breaking anything at the well-formedness layer sounds like a good
way to meet real world needs while preserving the value of the W3C
imprimatur.  A "real" standards process that sweeps up after the
W3C/Unicode/OASIS/etc. parade and saves whatever survived being trampled by
the elephants sounds better still.  

I have no illusions that NEL's and accomodating EBCDIC editors will be among
the survivors, but for the moment they are the lesser of two evils, if the
other is "XML is whatever Microsoft says it is."


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