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   RE: [xml-dev] ASN.1 is an XML Schema Language (Fix those lists!) and Bin

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I remember the SGML and ASN wars over a decade ago but 
had no personal involvements.  I do remember some smart 
folks at the time in the SGML camp saying that ASN was 
a well-conceived technology but overbuilt for the documentation 
market.  Is is an XML Schema language?  Sure.  And? 

It seems to me that XML took the market because:

1.  Simpler.
2.  Smelled like HTML.
3.  Had a ready made market from the SGML community.
4.  Smelled like HTML.
5.  Had the W3C to bless it.... eventually.
6.  Had the SGML community's experience with hypermedia 
    gained during the CALS era.
7.  Smelled like HTML.

There may be others.  Market hype certainly helped, but 
before that could occur, certain very large firms had 
to be convinced that it was the logical next step after 
HTML.  Netscape's incredibly stupid blunders during 
the initial phases of XML development put MS in the catbird 
seat, and once they understood the ideas, they went forward 
with their usual well-heeled and well thought through strategy.

Now we all have a decade of experience and ASN has to fit 
into the perceptions created by that.  If it looks baroque 
or promotes diversity where it isn't yet perceived as useful, 
it won't sell.  And sell it must.  Good technology is not 
enough if it is out-of-time (does not fit the zeitgeist).

Listening is everything.  Timing is everything else.


From: Alaric B Snell [mailto:alaric@alaric-snell.com]

Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:

 > On the other
> hand, the empirical observations are that uptake of ASN.1 at 
> the scale of XML, HTML, etc. has not been fast.  Why?
> Maybe the 'range' is too broad.  Dunno.

Purely marketing reasons, I reckon, rather than technical! XML was hyped 
by some big names, long after ASN.1 had stopped being hyped, if it ever was.


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