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   Toward an controlled vocabulary for "XML" and related terms? - was Re: [

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On Apr 11, 2004, at 12:57 PM, Stephen D. Williams wrote:

> The improper use of an 'XML' label is a fair concern.  On the other 
> hand, its use, qualified so as to indicate that it is something 
> different or additional, is a signal that something is working to 
> maintain a majority of semantics and idioms of XML.

Sigh, I think of "XML" as the whole bloody mess -- syntax, data models, 
APIs, query languages, whatnot.  I agree that adding additional 
qualifiers is the best way to be specific in a context that requires a 
distinction, e.g. "XML 1.x syntax" or "XQuery data model."

I realize that some people are quite firmly of the opinion that "XML" 
means "XML 1.x syntax", and that "binary XML" is an oxymoron.  By that 
definition, however, XSLT, DOM/JDOM, and XQuery are not "XML" 
technologies.  That seems doomed to cause far more schims within the 
XML community and confusion in the world outside XML geekdom than any 
increase in semantic precision would gain anyone.  I'm comfortable 
saying that XML is sortof a trinity -- "one technology in three 
persons" : syntax, data model, manipulation language -- but recognize 
that these are essentially vague and interdependent concepts that will 
probably never be clarified to anyone's satisfaction. Likewise, there 
are alternatives on any one axis so long as one doesn't get too far 
away from the middle on all axes as once.  A bit uncertain, perhaps, 
but such is life.

[As an aside in honor of the holiday today: The challenge of defining 
the Trinity apparently keeps certain people occupied fighting the 
numerous heresies still today.  
http://apologetics.johndepoe.com/trinityfalse.html  is the top Google 
hit for "trinity heresies" and contains the fascinating tidbit that 
those who believe that the Trinity is one Being in three persons are 
orthodox, but those who believe that it is one person with three ways 
of working are guilty of the Modalist heresy.   I remember a college 
history teacher who had a bit of fun tripping up the professed 
Christians in the class with their inability to distinguish the 
Revealed Truth from the various historical heresies.  "Sorry, you would 
have been burned at the stake for holding that opinion."   I wonder if 
the believers in the Revealed Truth in the class remember that session 
as clearly as I do 30 years later...]


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