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On Sun, 06 Feb 2005 08:47:32 -0700, Uche Ogbuji
> If you insist on this "hand-written XML is obsolete" theory enough to
> use it as a case for focusing XML 2.0 on toolkits, you're going to have
> to come up with a lot of evidence to back up your dubious claim.
I didn't say "obsolete", I said it's not the mainstream use case for
XML I see. XML 1.0 appears to have included a lot of stuff to make
it easier to hand author, and in my non-expert opinion is that stuff
seems to be causing a disproportionate amount of the pain for
developers. I'm not presenting that as a conclusion that I wish to
defend, just a reason for being interested in a profile of XML that is
focused more on the feature that are most valuable to the mainstream.
The point that hand-authored XML may be a small percentage of the
volume but it is more important as assets in the typical system is a
very interesting one that I'll have to think about. I wouldn't even
begin to dispute that this was true in the early days, but I think XML
is pretty well bootstrapped now. The text format that allows "hand"
tweaking and debugging is definitely a key part of XML's value, but
that's not what I'm talking about.
My personal preference (really a best guess, since I haven't tried to
really design or prototype it) would be to remove DTDs and maybe some
other bits such as the highly confusing whitespace rules, CDATA
sections ... out of the XML *core* and put them in some spec that
governs what a preprocessor would do to turn that syntax sugar into
the minimized core syntax, e.g. translate character entities into
Unicode, escape the individual characters that need to be escaped
inside a CDATA section, etc. I have no desire to make the syntax sugar
obsolete, I just don't see a long-term value for baking it into the
very core of what XML is. People who find that stuff useful for
hand-authoring or vendors who need backwards compatibility with SGML
and XML 1.x can stick with it, fine with me, they just would have to
use the preprocessor along with a hypothetical "XML--" processor in
Again, I don't really know if this would improve the REAL value of XML
or just its geek appeal to me. I think that's an open question, and I
freely admit that we all have different takes on this from our work
experience. The reason I babble about this is to stimulate feedback
from others so as to get a balanced perspective.