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   poisoned markup

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rsalz@datapower.com (Rich Salz) writes:
>Please forgive the heresy; my copy of the recommdnation didn't come on 

Nor did mine.  

On the other hand, I've been thoroughly irritated at times with the
attitude of a community that promised to pretty much overturn the
practices of "HTML for the Web" with notions like transformative style
and namespace-identified hyperlinking.  The HTML community didn't take
kindly to a pile-on of new and confusing specifications, and it probably
didn't help that the connections between "SGML for the Web" practice and
"HTML for the Web" were minimal.  The HTML community is adopting XML
piecemeal, taking the pieces it finds convenient for particular projects
(XSLT, with little note of XSL-FO) and ignoring the useless bits

The XML community hasn't been so lucky or so resilient.  XML was riddled
early with Web Services-like notions, and much of the selling of XML has
come from quarters which have little to do with "SGML for the Web".
Since the first Recommendation appeared, XML's been stuffed with URIish
notions from RDF, gHorribleKludge from someone's database notions, and
grotesque set of rules for deriving structures by extension or

Unlike the HTML community, which at least has a core set of its own
specifications and widespread practices which aren't going anywhere
quickly, the XML community has had acres of paper poured into what was
once a simplication process.  The wrong turn that the non-markup folks
took early has come to roost in XML itself as an ever-growing pile of
strange junk that has far more to do with object and database structures
than with marked-up text.

Adaptive reuse doesn't normally involve enforced assimilation.  In the
Web Services case, it's hard to argue that Web Services and its creators
- or even programming communities who see XML as mere data transfer
serializations - has done markup any genuine favors.  Publicity is
great, except when it's constantly misleading.  While I don't have to
use the whole SOAP/WSDL/UDDI/WS-X/WS-X stack, I constantly face the
overhead of explaining what I mean by "XML" to people who've been told
repeatedly that it means something else.  I'm stuck dealing with both
software and people who've confused WXS with XML - and that's a huge
amount of extra dreck to deal with on a daily basis.  (Points to James
Clark for building a giant aspirin bottle called Trang.)

XML 1.0 isn't written on any tablets, and god knows it has problems.  On
the other hand, there's plenty of reason for those of us who do care
about markup to detest those who just care about serialization - and to
fight back when possible.

Simon St.Laurent
Ring around the content, a pocket full of brackets
Errors, errors, all fall down!
http://simonstl.com -- http://monasticxml.org


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