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

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I'm just not grokking all the gloom and doom here lately.  "XML" (broadly 
defined) seems to suck or not suck about as much as it has for the last 
couple of years.  No major cruft has been piled on since WXS.  Some of the 
stuff that just didn't work out or add value (some would put XLink and 
XHTML in this category) is being quietly ignored. I must say that I'm 
personally pretty unhappy that the XQuery folks have chosen to build some 
variant of the PSVI and WXS type system deep into the spec, but a) they've 
paid the price in delaying the spec by years and b) implementers are 
figuring out what actually works for their customers and are going ahead 
with the good stuff with or without a Recommendation.  Ultimately Father 
Darwin will have the last word ... c'est la vie (or la mort) as the case 
may be.

I think things are acually looking up.  For example, the "SOAP as 
distributed object model / RPC" stuff seems to be on the defensive.  The 
SOAP object serialization has been deprecated by WS-I (although it clings 
to life in SOAP 1.2), the SOAP 1.2 Web-friendly binding features have 
finally been implemented by > 1 developer so that they can remain in the 
spec.  The notion of Web-friendly, document-oriented, loosely coupled / 
asynchronous Web services has vastly more mindshare than it did a year ago. 
 We don't see the marketeers and pundits-for-hire talking about it yet, but 
they will ...

And even MS folks are starting to say nice things about RELAX NG in their 
weblogs :-)

On Sun, 16 Feb 2003 17:35:52 +0000, Bill de hÓra <bill@dehora.net> wrote:

> We have two prescribed layers already:
> 1: Infoset + W3C Schema + QNames
> 2: RDF + Model Theory + URIs

Prescribed by whom? The first is Recommended by the W3C, but so is a lot of 
stuff that is being ignored (Xlink comes to mind); it *does* seem be be 
"prescribed" by Microsoft for Office 2004, and I agree that sucks.  On the 
other hand, it seems like an opportunity for people to write plugins or 
tutorials or utilities or whatever to insulate the millions of users from 
the crap, e.g. with RELAX NG or DTD -> WXS filters, or best practice guides 
saying where the alligators lurk.

The second isn't even prescribed in any meangful sense by the W3CL. Look at 
www-tag ... the RESTifarians and the SemWeb people can't even agree on the 
details of URIs.  The notion that weird and unworkable stuff can be imposed 
on the world by the W3C, Microsoft, or anyone else seems to have died along 
with the stock market, so I just don't worry about the cruft as much as I 
used do.

> The difficulty is bad engineering on top of XML, and a lack of 
> appreciation about what the benefits of using XML syntax as a carrier 
> are. There's no difficulty with XML.

Uhhh ... There are PLENTY of difficulties with XML, as the most casual 
glance at the archives of this mailing list for the past 6 or whatever 
years will confirm. There are benefits to Unicode-with-angle-brackets, and 
there are difficulties.  (There are benefits to the Infoset, PSVI, etc... 
and difficulties as well).  The questions I worry about center around 
figuring out when one approach works and when another works better, what 
doesn't work at all ...and coming up with a theoretical understanding of it 

I must be missing something -- a lot of people whose opinion I respect seem 
to be drawing the wagons around XML 1.x, warts and all.   Serious question: 
what's driving this?  Are people who practice XML 1.x now being forced by 
their customers, partners, tools, etc. to deal with the cruft that we've 
just complained about in the abstract for the last few years?  Is it 
getting harder to call oneself an "XML specialist" without being asked to 
deal with gHorribleKludge types, incomprehensible and non-interoperable WXS 
schemas, SOAP-RPC fantasies, and XQueries from hell, and it pisses people 
off that the core stuff that really DOES work (e.g. DTDs for documents) is 
losing mindshare?

I could definitely understand the gloom and doom if that is true...


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