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   RE: [xml-dev] WD for Namespaces 1.1

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> From: Rob Lugt [mailto:roblugt@elcel.com]


> My first reaction is that I share the opinion of Gustaf and 
> Mike Kay (among
> others) who feel that XML 1.1 will only be worthwhile if it 
> addresses more
> of the known issues with XML 1.0.  However, I've come to the 
> conclusion that
> this is inconsistent with the way that we all normally go about our
> business.  In software engineering, the perceived wisdom is 
> to perform small
> incremental changes, thereby reducing the overall risk of 
> getting it wrong.
> Why should the evolution of XML be any different?  I have a 
> little theory
> for how this inconsistency came about.

I disagree with this. Its certainly true that prevailing wisdom for systems
development is based on iterative lifecycles with rapid, incremental
changes. But enlightened software engineers also understand the importance
of limiting the impact of such changes by defining an architecture that
frames such changes, and by modularizing the architecture and defining
interface contracts between modules that are resilient to change (as much as

XML standards define a contract with the entire industry. The impact of
rapid, incremental changes to core standards would be disastrous. It would
quickly become unmanageable for tool vendors and lead to a proliferation of
interoperability problems. Changes to core standards must be done
judiciously. And I agree with those who argue that such changes should not
be minimalist and should not be done under arbitrary constraints that the
changes be "done quickly". If you are going to make change, make it
worthwhile to the industry to absorb the impact of that change by taking the
time to address the problems in current specs.

> I think it would be better if the XML processor worked out for itself
> whether a document conforms - and the user of the document 
> should indicate
> to the processor what level of conformance he requires or 
> expects.  

This would really be a disaster. To see the sort of browser incompatibility
problems that confront web developers find their way into core XML
technologies would be a disaster, and this is where this proposed approach
would inevitably lead.


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