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

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On Sunday 16 February 2003 03:08 pm, David Megginson wrote:
> I spent three months on and off trying to write an SGML parser in Java and
> never made much progress; I had the first working draft of AElfred
> done in an evening, and a quite usable parser in a couple of days (on
> top my regular work responsibilities at the time)

I think only one company ever claimed to have fully implemented SGML. 

I also spent a few month in Java on an SGML parser... and ended up with 
something mostly usable (a bit slow though... that was in JVM 1.02 days). The 
hardest part was handling of the SGML declaration, and part of that was 
exactly the problem of figuring out what a character was... one path to 
madness until the satori hits you. 

If you have a fixed SGML declaration (essentially what most "old school" SGML 
vendors did in most cases), it becomes a whole lot easier. That's one reason 
why XML was a whole lot easier: it's only one metalanguage instead of 8000+ 
mutually incompatible metalanguages ;-)

FWIW. I think there are lot of valuable ideas in SGML, but the spec mixes them 
up and confuses people too easily. 

> Perhaps that was the biggest difference: SGML was designed to make
> life easier for users, while XML was designed to make life easier for
> developers. 

This is very true.


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