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That's the only domain that being discussed, but it is a very
big domain with lotsa little domains inside it.
Don't laugh. Interleaf systems did stick big old
blobs of numbers for bitmaps right in the middle
of the markup. If they had been color, your solution
could have been appropriate. GACK!
I'm not to the point of considering solutions, and
I don't get to pick them anyway (not a w3C member).
I'm stuck on the 'is the problem space shared widely
enough to insist on a general solution' part.
As far as patent protection is concerned, the W3C IP
policy governs that. As far as the missing X is concerned,
From: Bob Wyman [mailto:email@example.com]
I doubt it. For XML interop, we only need to worry about the
use of alternatives that are appropriate for use in the same domain in
which XML is useful. Thus, we don't have to worry about the *general*
problem of binary-format design. (i.e. there may be techniques that
are appropriate when designing something like jpeg but I don't think
we have to worry about XML interchange of image data any time soon.
(<pixel red="999" blue="333"...</pixel>)
For the domain in which XML is useful and thus XML interop is
meaningful, I am confident that we'll eventually "discover" that ASN.1
(either traditional or X.finfo) is sufficient to be the common binary
form. Thus, I would suggest that the XML community focus on interop
with ASN.1 and friends rather than trying to solve the general
One nice feature of accepting ASN.1 is it's name... It doesn't
include any "X"'s. Thus, you get compactness, speed of parsing, and
even patent protection! (i.e. no creative lawyer will be able to argue
that ASN.1 is just an alternative form of XML and is covered by the
growing number of XML specific patents...)