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- Subject: Which Choices Matter? (WAS RE: SV: [xml-dev] Tim Bray on "Which Technologies Matter?")
- From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <email@example.com>
- Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2002 15:26:17 -0600
Moving this to a different plane, I say the choice of means of choosing
matters. What happens if there is only one choice?
Consider that the momentum choice (the means of choosing) has
chosen Internet Explorer. Ok. What about the choice of application
language? IE isn't a conforming XML application language
system, is it? Well, can we tell quickly? Sure. Give it a
table with all of the </tr>s and only one <tr> in the first
row. Keep all the rows balanced for <td></td>. What does
it do? It looks perfect. What happened? IAW the choice
"to be liberal in what it accepts", it fixed it for you.
What is the problem here?
The Draconian Parse: XML's one inviolate rule for
XML processors. BTW, it took <a name= > without a gripe
too. The only reason the person who found this did is because
it didn't like a basefont statement that was well-formed
but unimplemented. Even then, it only showed up because
she tried the Print Preview and serendipity got the hindmost.
OTW, it was on its way to the loading dock.
Say, OK, but given a DTD and a validator I can find that.
Sure, but do you have one and did you? What if a generator
is being used to produce that and the only quality step
was inspection in the rendering media engine? Some
designers really trust their code and discount the rest of the
XML systems above the level of syntax.
Different choices matter. That is the problem of the
80/20 decision. Without hindsight, it is rather easy
to make a bad choice of means and watch the other
choices cascade until serendipity or disaster strike.
XML sits squarely on top of SGML as a subset, and HTML
and SGML for hindsight. Good choices, I'd say.