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1. XML is not pure hype. There are no pure plays.
XML has been overhyped and part of that was at the
expense of SGML. That was distasteful and said a
lot about character.
2. XML 1.0 is less sophisticated. XML plus all of the
application language infrstructure built around it (eg,
XSLT) is much like SGML+OmniMark. Still not quite as
powerful but cheaper.
3. SGML had a few free apps and more were coming, but
time and the HTML juggernaut sidelined most of them.
(Not all: I just attended and IADS meeting. The bloody
thing lives.) That's ok because XML has A LOT more freeware
tools and more importantly, support built directly
into operating system frameworks, server frameworks,
and so on. Quite a victory.
4. XML has some conceptual improvements. The adoption
of a proven practice, well-formedness, is a big improvement.
Use of instance syntax for production declarations is a
big improvement. Namespaces are a minimal victory but
a necessary one (there must be a way to build a true
aggregate or we have to use SUBDOC: it may be the
case that being able to do both is useful).
5. A big victory: we have a honking large and
shared system to develop and field to and a means to
unify namespace scope where needed.
6. The biggest victory: we have a very talented
and active community of developers, users and customers.
No money; no thrills. Thank HTML and the WWW for that
All good stuff. All markup. Markup matters.
From: Daniel Veillard [mailto:email@example.com]
I was arguing against a statement that XML was
pure hype and less sophisticated. It may be hype but there is more
implementations to choose from, it may be less sophisticated but in practice
things which were looking impossible with the previous toolchain becomes
possible like formatting on the fly upon user request. One could probably
had done that on SGML too, but not with free software apparently. The
sophistication trade-off have a serious impact in that area.