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6/21/2002 3:37:11 PM, "Roger L. Costello" <email@example.com> wrote:
>And what percentage of people use RNG vs XML Schemas? I think that it's
>pretty safe to say that the percentage is overwhelmingly in favor of XML
Back in my day ... when dinosaurs ruled the earth ... my school taught
programming on a home-brewed operating system (the Michigan Terminal System)
and using a language (Algol-W) that had absolutely zero commercial signficance.
There were a certain number of complaints that the students were woefully
unprepared for the "real" world of IBM JCL and COBOL. But guess what --
the (relatively) easy to use operating system let people learn the principles
of getting things done on a computer without
getting in their way, and AlgolW turned out to greatly resemble Pascal
(the Next Big Thing in the early '80's). People learned that operating
systems, languages, applications, etc. come and go, but the principles
Those of my generation who got "commercially relevant training"
on OS/360 JCL and COBOL might have gotten jobs a bit more easily, or
got productive in their first jobs more quickly, I suppose. But
5 years later when C, Unix, PCs, Macs, etc. were the "commercially relevant"
platforms, what mattered was the principles, and having the flexibility
to learn new manifestations of those principles. All that painfully
acquired knowledge about the gory details of OS/360, JCL, COBOL,
PL/I, etc. really didn't help many students of my generation in the
I suspect that Eric's students will be similarly well-prepared for a world
that won't value today's XML technologies any more than the job market
currently values JCL, COBOL, PL/I, etc. Come to think of it, Algol-W
was Nikolas Wirth's personal reaction to the ugliness of PL/I and its
ilk, ... much like RELAX NG is James Clark and Makoto Murata's
reaction to the ugliness of W3C XSD. Just as learning Algol-W and
Pascal prepared me for a brief stint as a PL/I programmer,
I suspect that those who learn RELAX NG today will be well-prepared
for their brief stints asW3C XSD users, and schooled in the fundamental
principles that will guide whatever evolves from RELAX NG, W3C XSD,
and the other DSDL languages: the commercially important
languages of today bear a LOT more resemblance to Algol-W than
they do to PL/I or COBOL.
[OT - Someone replied off-list to a similar rant some months ago
with the factoid that PL/I and W3C XSD share a "parent" ...
Googling to determine the name is left as an exercise for the reader! ]