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   RE: [xml-dev] [Fwd: Defining "public interfaces" in specifications]

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I fully agree. The extensibility of XML is meant to be in the linguistic
productions possible due to different grammars, not different syntaxes
(morphology). The work I've seen in integrating different network
management protocols directly from their SNMP MIBs is, to me, proof that
this extensibility is as real as the promise. 

Changing the syntax, or allowing the syntax to change, is just asking
for trouble. The whole benefit of XML is that when you modify versions
of the grammar spec, or your application, things can still work to some
reasonable level. This is like if someone starts using a slightly
different grammar in your spoken language, you will likely understand
most of what they say. But not if they completely change the sounds they

Martin J. Soukup
XML Evangelist
Nortel Networks,
Ottawa, Canada

At 9:31 AM +0100 10/27/02, Eric van der Vlist wrote:

>I do think that the current situation is a disaster for extensibility.

I think XML 1.0 was designed to be extensible at the markup level. I 
think it's succeeded very well in that respect. Just look at the 
plethora of vocabularies out there. That's what the X in XML is about.

I think that quite wisely XML 1.0 was not designed to be extensible 
at the syntax level, and I feel that efforts to change or extend the 
syntax are contrary to the spirit of XML, will lead to significant 
confusion, and cause interoperability problems.

SGML is extensible at the syntax level, including the ability to 
change character sets and even change which characters delimit tags. 
Those few applications that truly need this level of extensibility 
should consider using SGML instead of XML.

| Elliotte Rusty Harold | elharo@metalab.unc.edu | Writer/Programmer |
|          XML in a  Nutshell, 2nd Edition (O'Reilly, 2002)          |
|              http://www.cafeconleche.org/books/xian2/              |
|  http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN%3D0596002920/cafeaulaitA/  |
|  Read Cafe au Lait for Java News:  http://www.cafeaulait.org/      |
|  Read Cafe con Leche for XML News: http://www.cafeconleche.org/    |

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