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   RE: [xml-dev] Handling of significant whitespace in .NET XmlReade r

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With the free parsing technology, 
SGML isn't that expensive.  Without free viewers, it is.
So is XML.

The major problem with SGML over XML is that with its 
flexibility comes a greater reliance on coordination 
among parties and that does raise costs while lowering 
overall reliability.  For point to point systems in 
the era when SGML was designed (pre-public Internet), 
this was reasonable.  But XML itself is a core system 
technology that other technologies are built over. One 
layer of interoperability is available, but above that, 
the same problems reemerge as well as the costs.  A 
barebones HTML browser satisfies no one today.  An 
XML-enabled web-based operating system is what is wanted.

Had everyone understood that the Internet browsing 
and server technology markets would minimize the number 
of realistic business options, SGML could have worked but 
still would have required some adjustments.  Well-formedness 
has the ugly cousin, self-description, and that is limited.
We did get a better technology, but not dramatically lower costs.
XML preserved the right to party, but not necessarily, 
a 'no door charge' policy.  As we see more vendors withdrawing 
from the 'freely distributable multi-platform systems', 
we are finally seeing the costs of web development emerge 
as well as the inevitable pattern of the emergence of 
local controls and the attendant costs of controlling their 
interoperation as well.


From: Eckenberger Axel [mailto:Extern.Eckenberger@kmweg.de]

> For all the quirks and seemingly-bizarre whitespace rules
> in SGML, it's one of the few markup technologies where 
> whitespace handling tends to Just Work (as long as you follow 
> best practices like "avoid pernicious mixed content").

True SGML is flexible, extensive and strict, but this also makes it
expensive ... 


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