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   Re: [xml-dev] SGML on the Web

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From: "Dare Obasanjo" <dareo@microsoft.com>

> 1.) Why should anyone care about SGML on the Web? 

If "anyone" is Joe Passive Consumer, they don't.  The XML effort was designed to
get the benefits of SGML and repackage them in a way that would allow a fresh
start.  Instead of worrying about a Standard Generalized Markup Language on the
Web, Joe can have a standard generalized markup language on the Web.
XML frees us from the supposed tyranny of capitalization. 

If "anyone" is a standards maker, then understanding the prior art and possibilities
separates the dilattante or scammer from the diligent and the informed.  Not that
cross-pollenation from people outside an established and fractious community has
no benefits. But SGML is much broader in scope than XML, and when XML 
reaches its boundaries SGML can be a good place to look.   

Finally, if anyone is involved in the same industries and tasks that SGML was
developed for and continues to thrive in (large industrial technical/legal/reference
publishing) then SGML has been shown time and time again to deliver. (Which is
not to say that SGML is an automatic guarantee of success, or always suitable or 
appropriate, any more than that using Java will guarantee Write-Once-Run-Everywhere 
or that using a Microsoft product will guarantee virus infection.)  

(I don't know if your question is really "When and where are ISO standards important?"
but that is another very worthwhile question too.)

Rick Jelliffe


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