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   Re: [xml-dev] The J2ME pseudo-XML botch

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Just for my edification - I thought the term XML was specifically 
claimed by W3C as a generic term and therefore was _NOT_ specifically 
defined or controlled by the W3C. Am I missing something or 
misunderstanding the implications of "generic term"?

Don Bate

At 9:10 AM -0800 2/22/03, Tim Bray wrote:
>Text of a feedback note I just sent to the community-feedback 
>address, cc Jon Ellis, the Sun guy who posted here:
>I understand the proposed XML parsing facility in J2ME accepts not 
>XML but a nonstandard subset which does not allow for the DOCTYPE 
>declaration.  It's OK to define a custom language for your own 
>purposes, but it's not OK at all to use the term "XML" in describing 
>it; this term is very precisely defined and is legally protected by 
>the World Wide Web Consortium; anyone who offers software with XML 
>in the name which is deliberately non-conformant to the 
>specification is putting themselves in a very shaky position both 
>legally and technically.   I am not speaking for the W3C but if Java 
>continues in this misguided direction I will pro-actively start 
>taking measures to protect the integrity of the term "XML" via the 
>W3C and public advocacy.
>On a technical front, and speaking as the author of the first-ever 
>XML Parser in the Java language (non-validating), which had a 
>bytecode footprint of less than 50k, I found that the code footprint 
>caused by parsing the DTD was negligable.  Now, external entity 
>processing is expensive, but there is no requirement to do that. 
>There is no requirement to fetch/process the external subset. 
>Processing the internal subset does create an opening to the 
>"billion laughs" DOS attack, but it would be perfectly reasonable to 
>implement self-defense against that with a simple limit on the size 
>of the internal entity stack, which would cost about one line of 
>On the larger front, XML has succeeded quite remarkably in providing 
>interoperability to a degree not observed in other data interchange 
>facilities.  There are indeed many programmers who read the XML spec 
>or one of the 30 shelf-feet of books now on sale explaining it, and 
>bash out software, and use MSIE or expat or something to 
>sanity-check it, and send it out into the world.  If J2ME advertises 
>a nonstandard subset as "XML", this is a recipe for an 
>interoperability disaster.
>Tim Bray
>  - co-editor, XML 1.0
>  - co-editor, Namespaces in XML
>  - member, W3C Technical Advisory Group
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Don Bate               | Specializing in Consulting and Mentoring in
Bate Consulting, Inc   | Object-Oriented Technologies,
                        | Software Architecture, and Software Process
(972) 618-0208 voice
(972) 618-0216 fax


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