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Yeah, the SGMLers experienced the same kind of
"it's a NAIL!" enthusiasm and from time to time,
the Elder Luddites of SGML warned that treating markup
as the answer to every problem would lead to
weirder problems. Yuri and Charles tried to get
me to understand that once upon a time after
we presented the first MID design in which
we had replicated all of C++ in pointies. Yet
count the number of times a year someone comes
on this list with an XML-pointy programming language.
It isn't as if no one has tried it; everyone tries
it. Sometimes they even implement it, but as
deRose asked me then, "Len, what is the advantage
over just using C++?" There wasn't one past the
parser, and that parser wasn't buying us much but
a fat verbose programming language that no tools
supported and no one needed or wanted.
On the other hand, we have SVG now and believe me,
using markup for graphics was once a mad heresy.
So perhaps we push it to the edge, a little over
the edge, identify the edge, then step back and
try another path. It seems to me that the web
itself is just a lab experiment writ very large,
and that we take it so seriously that the notion
of specing systems to see if the idea is a good
one got lost in the madness of being RIGHT. Ask
any celebrity about that and most of the still
sane ones will tell you that popularity or any
fame is an illusion of perception about access.
It doesn't make one less smelly in the morning.
So yeah, horses for courses. Maybe a little
less ambition to be web stars... like, the
scooby snacks are all gone anyway, Scooby Doo!
From: Simon St.Laurent [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
I think the XML community, myself included, gravely over-extended itself by
claiming that XML was capable of solving problems in all of these spaces
effectively. W3C XML Schema seems like the poster-child for what happens
when that hubris is taken seriously and piles of new features to support
all these areas get added.
I also think it's past time for a lot of us to take a closer look at the
tools we have and the work we do and ask which tools are most appropriate
to which work, and talk a lot more about that. Talking amongst ourselves
about it is a good start, but we also need to talk with customers, vendors,
and other folks looking at XML.