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   RE: [xml-dev] Ted Nelson's "XML is Evil"

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Eric van der Vlist <vdv@dyomedea.com> writes:
> On Tue, 2004-09-28 at 04:54, Liam Quin wrote:
> > On Mon, Sep 27, 2004 at 09:08:07PM -0500, Sergio J. Rodriguez M. 
> > wrote:
> > > Just a thought of the past ...
> > >  
> > > http://ted.hyperland.com/XMLisEvil.html
> > >  
> > > Is this all true?
> > 
> > If you refer to the linked article,
> >     http://www.xml.com/pub/a/w3j/s3.nelson.html
> > 
> > then I'd say "no" :-)
> I'd say that it's not false either. 
> I think that the issues he is raising are real ones but that 
> either they're not as important as he thought or we've learn 
> to get used to them and workaround them.
I agree, see below.

> The three layer model he's proposing doesn't seem very 
> different from Durusau's Just In Time Trees combined with a 
> style sheet language and I wouldn't call it a bad idea.

CSS was around in 1997 when the article was written but I guess not
visible enough to be a real consideration?  In any case, I agree with
much of the article, but I'd also note a couple of things:

1) For data exchange where XML is a transitory exchange medium the
points are moot.  This is where much of the value in XML is today.  The
real growth area for XML is in data exchange and not in attempting to
solve the concerns addressed by hypertext and the other mechanisms that
Mr. Nelson is focused on.

2) Mr. Nelson seems to suggest that the "real" hypertext system are
still to come and when that happens XML will be at most a document
exchange mechanism.  If you follow xml-dev it would appear that there
are few "priests" who would completely disapprove of this viewpoint.
Maybe this is just the benefit of the 5 years or experience from when
the article was written....  

This does raise the issue of whether the back end hypertext editing and
storage mechanisms need to be standardized.  Given that we're still at
the point of creating the King James, standardizing the printing press
would seem to be a ways off?


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