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

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This may turn into an interesting thread.

Is this a fair assertion:  few markup system 
users will be productive unless a markup specialist 
sets up the system for them?  A lot about the 
perception of markup is determined by the 
tradeoffs this person is trained to make.

Given that assertion, what is the best markup 
design that the specialist can produce to 
get the highest productivity from the user?

What is the impact of the GUI chosen on the 
design of the XML? (ideally, none, but this 
implies costs).

Long ago and far away, we had the SGML Way. 
Without getting into the details, it did not 
always produce good answers for these questions 
although it could ensure a well-annotated 
document.  Much of the slag laid at the feet 
of SGML was the result of monolithic document 
types, and insisting on the SGML Way over smart 
and efficient markup designs for particular 
applications.   We tend to accept uncritically
certain myths, and I believe, for that reason, 
repeat certain mistakes.  

XML is supposed to be the culmination of the 
shared experience of the SGML community. 

Have we gotten any smarter?

Here are two possibly mutually exclusive 
assertions I've encountered along The Way:

o  Markup tags should be human readable 
and understandable, using lower camel case.

o  The length of a tagname does affect 
message size and in network applications, 
this can affect system performance.

Given a situation, either of these is true. 
Given use of XSLT or other transformative 
technologies, neither is exclusive.


From: David Megginson [mailto:david@megginson.com]

The real problem is that neither SGML nor XML is particularly easy for
authors to use and understand.  In the data world, we can remove much
of the unfamiliarity by using input forms, but in the document world,
authors have to learn the whole new world-view of generic markup even
if they do have nice, GUI-based, WYSIWYMG editors to hide the pointy


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