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   Re: [xml-dev] Remembering the original XML vision

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In a message dated 15/02/2003 18:35:35 GMT Standard Time, clbullar@ingr.com writes:

The SGML vision is inclusive. 


That's an interesting comment. I guess I would have made the seemingly opposite statement: "The SGML vision is exclusive". By that I mean that SGML was, and is, a pretty impenetrable morass to the uninitiated. When I purchased my copy of the SGML Handbook a few years back I found it a startling failure in communication. I guess the W3C XML Schema Recommendation documents remind me of it. Documents written by highly intelligent people which fail to communicate the important truths and principles that enthrall their respective authors.

Would you care to expound on the dimensions you were referring to in your comment?

That made it an
ideal place to start. 

Um ... only for a select few. <grin/> ... Try distributing the SGML Handbook to an average developer and see what responses you get.

The XML vision is narrowed
and is increasingly narrowing. 

Again, I would tend to say the opposite. "XML" (a term now almost useless because of its multiple usages, both precise and imprecise) seems to be in process of becoming all-encompassing.

I assume you are referring to different dimensions once again.

That will be its
death knell. 

I, in my simple way, see the possibility of relayering the specifications as being crucial to keep the "death" of XML at bay.

If one looks at W3C in organisational / procedural terms the "let's create many new organisms and hope that some survive" evolutionary approach seems to me to be inherently inefficient. Some of the relayering I perceive as necessary is a result of that approach.

I guess that, viewed from the inside, it is fun for some in W3C to spin off multiple, increasingly complex and quasi-experimental specifications. The lesson from the experimental scientific disciplines which seems to have been overlooked in this specification profligacy is that a substantial proportion of "new science" is proven, with the emergence of further data, to be bad science. It seems to me that W3C specifications are not free of that problem!

Andrew Watt

What isn't explicit in the markup

will become explicit in the code.


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