OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help



   Re: [xml-dev] The subsetting has begun

[ Lists Home | Date Index | Thread Index ]
  • To: XML DEV <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
  • Subject: Re: [xml-dev] The subsetting has begun
  • From: "W. E. Perry" <wperry@fiduciary.com>
  • Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 17:08:48 -0500
  • Organization: Fiduciary Automation

"Cavnar-Johnson, John" wrote:

> You are wrong in saying that those documents would not be XML.  As I am
> proposing a strict subset for parser conformance, to claim that these
> documents would not be XML is factually incorrect.

Granted. With apology. But see below.

> The real question is whether there is an advantage in redefining the
> meaning of well-formed that obviates the disadvantages.  I gather you
> think not.  I disagree.

Any advantage which you might realize is one that can be (most likely,
already is) obtained from another technology, relying on different premises.
I believe that well-formed-XML-plus-internetwork-topology offers something
entirely new. The work that I have been able to do in the past couple of
years, though at a business level it is simply another way of doing the same
processing which I did for the previous 15 or 16 years, gets to that point
by reversing the premises and feels like an entirely new activity. Kian-Tat
Lim made an extremely valuable distinction between messaging and publishing.
I would deepen that distinction to differentiate processes, and their
advantages, available only upon acceptance of cartel rules versus those by
default universally available. Sometimes reversing the default for
inclusivity does yield etiological difference.

I understand that you are looking for efficiencies in processing. You can
find those elsewhere--probably better than you can ever gain on the
fundamental premises of XML. Your cost, however, may be obviate this
technology's uniqueness in order than it may compete on some very pedestrian

> >There is also a risk on the other side, which I alluded to in the earlier
> post.
> >Wherever the form in which documents are created is conditioned by
> agreements
> >between a creator and its expected consumers, the risk is that they will
> agree
> >on out-of-band semantics which allow them to reduce the content of the
> > document itself. On the basis of such agreements the 'expected' creators
> and
> > consumers become a cartel from which I am excluded, and their documents
> > become impoverished of information with which I might otherwise perform
> > useful processing. That cost is not only significant, but potentially
> fatal
> > not only to what I can do today but to the larger promise of XML.
> Nothing I'm proposing impacts that risk, as far as I can tell.

The looked-for efficiencies which motivate you to do this subsetting in the
first place are chiefly to be found in reducing the document content, and
commensurately the document processing, by moving as much as possible to
out-of-document agreements. I believe that it is naive to hope that
documents 'optimized' for processing in this way will not become (while
technically XML, as I concede above) informationally impoverished on their
own terms as documents. And, of course that impoverishment will show up
first and most strikingly when those documents are put to 'unintended' uses.


Walter Perry


News | XML in Industry | Calendar | XML Registry
Marketplace | Resources | MyXML.org | Sponsors | Privacy Statement

Copyright 2001 XML.org. This site is hosted by OASIS