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I never was a fan of SML.  I like XML 1.0 as it is, warts and all.  But I 
think a variation of SML is in order these days.  This past thread has helped 
me crystallize what lies behind my ambivalence towards the state of XML today:

1)  The major foundations of XML are truly brilliant, its flaws being very 
modest for a technology of its age.

2)  The second round of XML development through the W3C is confused, 
confusing, and counterproductive to the felicity of (1)

My own definition of successful XML is as follows:

- Basically all that makes up Tim Bray's XML Skunkworks document
- XPath 1.0
- XSLT 1.0 + EXSLT

There are other successful vocabularies built on this foundation, such as SVG, 
but I'm mostly dwelling on the foundation.

It is amazing what can be built using of XPath.  I have been surprised over 
and over again at how well it strikes the balance between processing needs and 

XSLT is a wonderful tool for generic XML processing, and its extension system 
allows a very clean layering between generic and application-specific 
processing.  From what I have seen, one can optimize and solve other 
domain-specific problems through this layered approach just as well as if XSLT 
were a complete GP programming language.

I'm not sure where all this leads.  I know that many others have a similar 
view.  Perhaps we just need to be sure that the best of XML is still properly 
represented in the user communities and the press even as the second, dubious 
wave washes ashore.  I don't know whether this requires a Web site, an 
advocacy group, or what.

But I do think I have a clearer picture of what is right and wrong about XML 
these days.

Uche Ogbuji                           Fourthought, Inc.
uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com           http://fourthought.com
http://4Suite.org                     http://uche.ogbuji.net
Track chair, XML/Web Services One (San Jose, Boston): 
RDF Query using Versa - http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/xml/library/x-thi
WSDL and the Wild, Wild West - http://adtmag.com/article.asp?id=6004
XML, The Model Driven Architecture, and RDF @ XML Europe - 


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