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   Re: [xml-dev] Why would MS want to make XML break on UNIX, Perl, Python

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Rick Jelliffe" <ricko@allette.com.au>
To: <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2001 8:54 PM
Subject: [xml-dev] Why would MS want to make XML break on UNIX, Perl, Python,
etc ?

From: "Michael Rys" <mrys@microsoft.com>

>> They would all mean nothing in the context of the markup (ie they are
>> exposed as a character information item with their Unicode code point)
>> and display is left to the output device.

>Sure, lets make XML unsuitable for use in UNIX pipes by allowing ^D.
>And for Perl and Python text-processing programs that use standard in and
>expect EOF (^D or ^Z).

I was wondering how long it would take for someone to throw in a good dose of
anti-Microsoft paranoia, I'm surprised it lasted this long. :)

Personally, I've always felt that if one wants to debate a point and be taken
seriously it makes sense to avoid ad hominem attacks and unwarranted finger
pointing  especially if these points can be easily refuted. Here are a few
questions I'd like to ask you;

1.) Exactly how common is piping XML (not ASCII) used in UNIX applications? I
have never seen a UNIX app that does this.

2.) Why would MSFT want to break XML usage in .NET languages like Perl and

3.) Since when did every opinion put forward by an employee of a corporation
on a public discussion forum become CAST IN STONE company policy?

4.) Micheal is not the only one who was in favor of XML 1.1, so what are your
conspiracy theories regarding the others that mentioned support for the idea
on XML-dev or Reuter's Health or  the W3C for that matter? Launching into a
paranoid anti-MSFT tirade does little to improve perception of the validity of
your dissent but does make one wonder whether your reason for dissension is
even rational or based on the Anything But MSFT meme that flows all across the

>That really is pathetic. I sat next to the excellent J. Paoli at lunch at a
>conference last week, to thank him for the terrific MS help with some MSXML 4
>issues, and he stressed that MS was keen on following standards for XML:
>they were competing at the higher levels.

Which from what I have seen is the attitude of most of the MSFT people who
work with XML from what I've seen them them write or heard them say.

>But it is clear that the other agenda is at work too, at least in certain
>people at MS: let us adjust XML regardless that it wil break on the
>operating system or tools. Let us justify this by saying that there are
(supposedly)  more people using DBMS >than using standard input for
processing. Let us
>embrace and extend.


People try to influence technologies in ways that work best for them, the
entire purpose of public discussion is to hash out these issues instead of
having everyone go their own way and "embrace and extend" the technology as
you put it.

>I have been rather surprised at people's comments that "text" is somehow an
>abstract idea which we are free to fiddle with, rather than being a mode
>hardcoded into operating systems in which certain control characters are used
>for certain control functions (e.g. EOF in particular) and is utterly
distinct in
>practical and operation terms from binary processing.  XML is text.

However, I do agree that XML is primarily a text based technology and I'm
uncomfortable with changes that would allow for control characters and other
such gobblygok in XML files simply to please the data serialization folks.

(not speaking on behalf of my employer because I don't have one)

I will hire an expert marksman to stand by the entrance to my fortress.
His job will be to shoot anyone who rides up to challenge me.

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