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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.
From: John Evdemon [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
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