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----- Original Message -----
From: "Steven R. Newcomb" <email@example.com>
To: "Nicolas Lehuen" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <email@example.com>; "'Jeff Lowery'"
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2002 10:33 PM
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] AF and namespaces, once again (was Re: [xml-dev]
There is a meaning, but it's not in the data alone)
> > Disclaimer : I just read David Megginson's
> > documentation of XAF , which implements a subset
> > of AFs for XML. I'll try to read  in the future,
> > especially for the meta-DTD part, but right now my
> > brains just melt at the idea of reading a document
> > which calls its sections 'subclauses'. Apparently
> > those people like giving complex names to trivial
> > concepts :P.
> It's all in the interests of precision and clarity.
> In my 16 years of standards work, I've learned that if
> you want a standard to work, you have to think like an
> engineer. But if you want it to be adopted, you have
> to think like a politician. The two mindsets are
> sometimes incompatible. Where they were incompatible,
> I've generally chosen to make the standard really work,
> in preference to early, easy adoption. For me, it's a
> professional thing.
> The other approach, however, tends to enjoy quicker
> success. It is not an accident that the notoriously
> vague French language is the traditional language of
> diplomacy. For some reason, vagueness is generally
> more palatable. I regret that the precise language
> that I, among others, have labored to produce is so
> off-putting for so many people. I know no other way to
> make a standard that can withstand the stress of
> implementation and deployment, while actually meeting
> its original requirements.
Wooops I should have made sure that none of 'these people' were reading the
list before writing that :P. I've received a few private answers due to this
remark, so please accept my apologies if I offended anyone.
My point was just that I was looking for a introductory document to AFs and
found that the difference between David's very practical introduction 
and the original specs' extensive use of never-seen-before terms  was
After sending my mail, I did find an introductory article by W. Eliot Kimber
 which was referenced on xml.com's resources on AFs .
For my defense, may I cite Mr Kimber ?
"Like any formal mechanism, the SGML architecture mechanism has its own
jargon, which while internally consistent, may not always be intuitively
descriptive in a general context."
That was exactly what I meant.
Best regards & my apologies,