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

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On Sun, 23 Feb 2003 09:54:39 -0800, Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com> wrote:

> Etc... there's a word for these situations: "bugs".  Bugs are a fact of 
> life and we fix them and deal with them.  When someone writes a 
> specification for a potentially-very-important software library and 
> writes the bug into the definition, that's a different level of 
> seriousness.

It seems to me that Sean raises a more profound issue. If XML has brought 
real interoperability benefits despite widespread non-conformance to the 
spec (whether we call the non-conformance "bugs" or "features"), then the 
argument that the benefits are threatened by non-conformant implementations 
seems highly suspect.  True, the conformance issues h's talking about are 
much more at the level of nitpicks rather than major amputations such as 
we're talking about here, but on the other hand I've never gotten the 
impression from this list that DTD validation is widely used in data-style 
and simple document applications such as one would expect to write for 

I'd like to see a dialogue here, and to be honest I don't think calling the 
J2ME proposal a "pseudo-XML botch" is a good opening.  Labels aside (isn't 
J2ME more or less implementing the XML-SW proposal? <grin>) Java users 
benefit if the J2ME implementation is at least minimally compatible with 
the great majority of XML data in actual use by prospective users; and the 
W3C benefits if it uses the empirical evidence here to guide the 
conformance level / profiles / subsets discussion.  I think both could 
learn from each other's needs and expertise here. One could argue that Sun 
should wait until something like XML-SW is standardized as XML 2.0 (or a 
conformance profile, or whatever), but standards that describe actual 
practice will be more successful than those which prescribe ideal pratice.


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