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   Re: [xml-dev] strange feeling

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"Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <clbullar@ingr.com> wrote:

| That's a little unfair, Arjun.  We signed on to a W3C effort. 

Only in a sense.  Jon had asked other organizations besides the W3C, like
the IETF and WG8, for hosting/infrastructural help.  The W3C seemed the
best deal at the time, so Jon went for it, and we all uh, signed on.  As
it happened, the "SGML Activity" to host this officially was created
practically overnight, in advance of AC approval.  It took them over a
year to get the whole business with W3C Process straightened out, and then
only because after Nov 96 it suddenly dawned on them that a bunch of SGML
heads had actually managed to produce something useful.  

| It did get the bit between it's teeth, but no one had to shanghai it. 

I reckon May 97 as when XML got taken over by agendas.  Remember the
SD1-SD5 "proposals"?

| 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),

I disagree, albeit mildly.  W3C Process froze XML at 1.0, while there was
still unfinished business.  For instance, what parts of the WebSGML TC did
XML *take* (as opposed to being given)?  Zippo.  The #ALL keyword?  Nope.
The DATA declared value?  Nope.  IDN public IDs?  Nope.  And then the
blunders.  Mandatory SYSTEM identifiers?  What a disaster.  Why no special
syntax (like say a reserved name, xmlid) for IDs when the way to declare
IDs - a whole slew of ATTLIST declarations in the internal subset - were
an obvious nonstarter?  I could go on.  Anyone who thinks XML syntax is
pretty good hasn't run up on the rocks yet.

| 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. 

And conversely, political fiat papered over with "technical" reasons.  See
Namespaces.  I'm going to quote myself on this aspect of a perception:

: The problem, naturally, was that people were still likely to read into
: the spec all the arguments and motivations that had been discredited.
: Indeed, the *existence* of the Rec (never mind what it said or did not
: say) could - and in the event, would - be used to conclude that those
: arguments and motivations were well-founded. 


And, remember Eliot's "standardize responsibly" rant?

| But a day in the library is still worth a month in the lab.

Too bad some libraries aren't open to the public.


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