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   Re: [xml-dev] Time Travel

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In a message dated 29/03/2003 10:25:43 GMT Standard Time, danny666@virgilio.it writes:

I just came across this story :

"Federal investigators have arrested an enigmatic Wall Street wiz on
insider-trading charges -- and incredibly, he claims to be a time-traveler
from the year 2256!"

I was wondering how a markup-oriented time traveller might make a fortune,
and what changes to the past might be good for xml.


Just think of the benefits such a time traveller could bring. He could have warned the Israeli army not to invade Lebanon in 1982 and then have to retreat in ignominy 18 years later. If he missed 1982 then maybe in 2002/2003 he could have warned Bush and Blair that they could very well be getting themselves into another Lebanon by invading Iraq. We have already seen the Iraqi Maquis in action over the last few days. In the Israeli invasion of Lebanon it took quite some time for the suicide bombing of invading troops to get underway. I hear that the first suicide bombing in Iraq has, according to initial reports, killed 5 American soldiers (3 according to some reports) this morning. Sadly, I fear that could be a tiny appetiser for a bitter feast yet to come.

As the Chinese curse supposedly says, "May you live in interesting times."

As far as XML goes it would have been good if our time traveller had visited the W3C and encouraged better coordination among XML specifications over the last 4 years or so. We could have, perhaps, been spared the unnecessary terminology problems and inconsistencies between specifications.

I am tempted to suggest that less emphasis "way back then" i.e. circa 1997 on SGML compatibility might, in the long term, have been an advantage. However, in reality if XML hadn't been compatible with SGML in those far-off fragile days then it is possible that XML might have been still-born.

Andrew Watt


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