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

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From: <AndrewWatt2000@aol.com>

> 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. 

Err, this is a comment on the SGML Handbook, not ISO 8879. They are not the
same. I find 8879 itself far more straightforward to use than in Charles' version.

People may be interested in a page count: 

SGML - 85 pages (in my printed copy) without the annexes

XML - 52 pages (printed out from a web browser, at a medium to small setting) 
Add a couple of pages for XML 1.1 without the appendixes.  

Now consider that SGML gives poor-man's versions of schemas, 
namespace (SUBDOC), regular fragmentations (shortrefs), and 
compression (minimization), and a profile/feature system to allow
the user to view things as layers.   It is nice to remove 33 pages
from SGML: but we have replaced them with hundreds of pages
of specs like namespaces and XML Schemas.  Viewed as an exercise 
in reducing the impenetrable, XML has been a total failure; viewed as 
an exercise in refactoring, it has not been a total failure.

Rick Jelliffe


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