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   Re: [xml-dev] Tim Bray on "Which Technologies Matter?"

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Mike Champion wrote:

> Other things on the list may not have mattered in their
> original incarnation -- let's say that "4GL" didn't matter,
> but they proved the concept that you don't need to be a
> computer scientist to write useful programs, which led
> to Visual Basic (etc.) which clearly do matter.  So,
> perhaps it makes sense think about what it took to make
> these matter ... and I for one would argue that the
> 80:20 rule was important in making SGML matter in the
> form of HTML and XML, making 4GL matter in the form of VB,etc.

This feeds the myth that there was some sort of deep dissatisfaction amongst
the users of SGML - that they were just hanging on until something better came
along. This simply is not the case. As Rick Jelliffe pointed out, many
organisations haven't seen a need to switch from SGML to XML, so the people to
whom SGML used to matter are largely the same people to whom it matters today.
Of course the SGML market is much smaller than HTML or XML - it's servicing a
very specific band of requirements.

We accept that HTML and XML are designed for different purposes from each
other, so why is there so much resistance to accepting SGML as a third facet?
Another turnaround - if XML matters and SGML doesn't, why haven't we seen the
demise of SGML?


Marcus Carr                      email:  mcarr@allette.com.au
Allette Systems (Australia)      www:    http://www.allette.com.au
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."
       - Einstein


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