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That's a little unfair, Arjun. We signed on to
a W3C effort. It did get the bit between
it's teeth, but no one had to shanghai it.
But the names I saw there and the names I was
familiar with by work experience and the pubs
were pretty much the same group. The leadership
was different and so were some of the goals.
We have probably spent a lot of anguished emails
debating the goals.
All in all, I am not displeased with the results.
I do think we are now a long ways past that initial
slimming down of the syntax spec (the easy part,
really), and pretty far into the framework weeds
that made SGML just as tendentious. The biggest
difference is that where once only a fairly small
group of people understood the issues and could
architect for them sensibly, a much larger group
has a grasp of the issues if not always the history
of previous attempts to solve them. Reinvention
is certain, but as long as folks like yourself
who have both a deep technical grasp and familiarity
with the number of solutions proposed, tried, and
sometimes discarded while awaiting new requirements,
it seems to work.
The big problem was the W3C going from specs to
standards making, thus projecting a perception that
things mostly proposed were really done and to be
accepted as fiat. That restricts innovation even
by regurgitation. Experience says the simplest
approach with the clearest documentation will win
the day if not the decade.
But a day in the library is still worth a month
in the lab.
From: Arjun Ray [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
"Didier PH Martin" <email@example.com> wrote:
| And yes, [the W3C] simplified SGML.
No, the W3C did not simplify SGML. SGML was simplified by the SGML
comuunity. As Len once said, "every SGMLer with a modem."
The W3C shanghaied the result.