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XML publicly stomped its competition, SGML with
help from the stomping it got from HTML.
As I sit here updating thousands of records
ground out by a compliant HTML control that
obediently dropped the attribute delimiters
so I can embed them into XML that changed the
rules for those delimiters, I can see why
anyone staring into the morass of web specifications
would wait for the bandwagon to get out of Dodge
and take the band with it.
The dangers are real enough, but not always immediate.
One might be dead for a long time without knowing it.
From: Michael Kay [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> I have a theory on the subject of "competing specifications" that I'd
> like to present, in hopes of getting some good feedback.
I think you're ignoring the bandwagon effect. Very often, if there are two
competing specifications, people sit on the fence and don't adopt either of
them, because they don't know which one is going to win. For example the
OpenLook/Motif war, if you remember that one. XML was adopted so rapidly
largely because it had no competition.