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   Re: [xml-dev] SML: Second Try

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Why is there fluff in XML?

In publishing, documents don't only exist over the wire.  

They are used before and after.  If XML didn't provide entities, we
would be forced to use some kind of content management system
or home-made conventions-- either more cost or more work.  If XML didn't
provide comments, an authing/editorial group would be forced to all choose
the same editor to send these round in some proprietary format. If XML
didn't provide PIs, we would have to add elements willy nilly to our DTDs
to cope with particular typesetting systems: we would have to build in
knowledge of the capabilities of an output device into our element

The value of that fluff is that it prevents us, just as much as the separation
of presentation and content, from being reliant on proprietary tools. Fluff is king.
It is the fluff that makes XML useful even at the cheap end of town: you can successfully
work with quite large document sets, multiple people commenting on documents,
and hand-tune the rendered output all with just vanilla text editor and the file system,
as years of SGML/XML have proven.  Take away XML's utility at the cheap-end,
and you lessen its ubiquity and therefore usefulness at the high-end too. 

It would be strange to say "XML is a format for sending documents, but this format 
does not need to be useful for people writing documents, or assembling them, or using 

Rick Jelliffe

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Gavin Thomas Nicol" <gtn@rbii.com>

On Thursday 06 February 2003 01:08 pm, Owen Walcher wrote:
> <religiousRightousness>Exactly.. and a big part of the problem.
> XML was supposed to simply be a human and machine readable markup language
> where anyone can define the tags, but the SGML people drove hard to get all
> their baggage into the XML specification (for backwards compatibility).
> Many of these "trade-offs" I have seen discussed here is because of all
> that baggage (IMNSHO). </religiousRightousness>

You know, it'd be great if people wouldn't make claims about what XML was 
supposed to have been, and about what happened during the process of defining 


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