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   RE: [xml-dev] No to RELAX-NG (for now)

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Some don't want to replace DTDs.  They have the tools already 
and their enterprise and partners are using them.

Some don't want to rebuild working DTDs.  They don't have to 
unless some get their way and rip them out of XML as a means 
to simplify their own systems at the expense of working systems. 

Moving from a DTD to an XML Schema isn't that hard if you have 
the background and the support of your own enterprise and its 
trading partners.  If you haven't got a DTD, skip that and 
move on to an alternative.  It is a tool that is past its 

RELAX NG?  Do you have the tools, do you need the tools, 
do you have the background and the support of your own enterprise 
and its trading partners? 

RELAX is marvelous.  So is a DeLorian.  I can't afford one 
but I'll sure pull over and let it pass.  I hope not to pay 
for parts for one.   RELAX NG becomes the tool of choice 
when it is the affordable tool and enough other drivers have 
them that the lines in the parking lot are sized appropriately.  
Is RELAX today's tech?  See above.  It is a good thing to 
know that independents are preparing tools.   It will be 
better when commercial sources deliver them.  

Mark is saying something obvious:  despite the inclination of 
the XML industry and its leaders to tweak, compete, and outdo 
each other in pursuit of elegant designs (a fun and sometimes 
noble pursuit), those who have to deliver on time and within 
budget resist that tweaking.  They have to.   Note today's 
USA Today in which the original 100 dot.com notables just got 
reduced to 50 (even Commerce One was removed) to reflect 
an industry in which shakeout, merger, and re-catergorization 
are the dominant processes.   Note that in some cases, other 
standards efforts that depend on XML as a basis have to simply 
punt away the newer draft specs and proceed on their own because 
they cannot reliably predict when these specs will settle down 
long enough to work with them.   This isn't just "non-XMLers 
who don't get it".  Some are serious business interests who 
have to move at a pace matched by returns on investment.  It 
is one thing to be a university funded project, an independently 
wealthy developer, or even a poor and brilliant hacker; it is 
another to work to schedule under contract with punitive provisions 
for default.  Again, some of us have to bet our companies on 
reliable vendors such as Microsoft because when we carefully 
consider the alternatives, the holders of those make the bets 
too risky.  Mark said "no for now".  That isn't an unsensible 
thing to say.  "No now and forever" would be.

So we can't dismiss Mark out of hand and we can't blame Internet 
Time because the Internet is almost out of time, a condition of 
it's own making.  When something is working, it may seem stodgy 
to dismiss innovation, and it is often risky, but it is as Ben 
Franklin tells us, the bird worth holding.


-----Original Message-----
From: John Evdemon [mailto:jevdemon@vitria.com]

On Thursday, January 03, 2002 12:49 PM, Mark Evans wrote:
> Now we see schemas finally making their escape.  That is a
> good thing.  I dislike the idea of replacing them with
> something else.  

Even if the "something else" is easier to learn and use?
I imagine some people thought the same thing about replacing
DTDs with XML Schema.
> Because schemas have been so long coming, everyone I meet is
> using DTDs. This kind of backwardness is caused by
> uncertain, zig-zag standards development.

Given the significant investments in DTD development, moving 
to XSD may not be a viable (or necessary) option.

> I grant that RELAX NG may be better.  Frankly, I've never heard of it
> until now.  I looked at the web sites.  Ho hum is my impression --
> more XML tweaking when what the world needs is a stable XML standard.

I suggest you go back and re-read the RNG spec - its an amazing bit of 


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