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   RE: [xml-dev] Declarative XML Processing with XQuery

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Let others answer the question of why we can't just 
use SGML.  In effect, you can.  The standard is still 
there.  You will probably quickly hit some issues about 
DOCTYPEs for starters (SGML requires them) but if you 
actually want a truly self-descriptive document, that 
is what you do.  On the other hand, how hard is it 
to get a schema from a URI?  Not very. 

So you'll have to talk about the needs to get traction.

My point was not about the technology per se, but about 
the goals of the people using and developing a technology 
during a period of time (a zeitgeist).  When a group of 
people united by a reasonable set of common values are 
communicating, the character of what becomes of that 
communication is determined by outward or inward measurements. 
The early years of XML have been characterized by trying to 
implement XML or improve it.  That is inward measuring. 
Now, given the fashions of xmlhttp objects, it is about 
trying to find new things to do with XML and that is much 
more what the later years of SGML was like: measuring 
the needs of applications over the enabling technology. 

One of the two game theory Nobel Prize winners said it: "He is a 
producer of game theory.  I am a user."  It is the difference 
between people who design plumbing and those who design pools. 
You need both at different times.  What is interesting is that 
we appear to be on the verge of a disruptive period in XML 
plumbing development that could reduce some aspects of interoperability 
of the tools and deemphasize standards but cause a dramatic 
improvement in productivity (the same goals for XML over SGML) 
of the application developers.

It wasn't that one couldn't do integrated open hypermedia 
with SGML.  One could.  It was just hard and the requirements 
for integration that made SGML hard were disappearing as 
other standards (eg, Unicode) came to play.  We are about 
to repeat that cycle.


From: sterling [mailto:sstouden@thelinks.com]

What would be the problem of going back to SGML, it works so 
much better for so many things?  Its sort of like linux vs windows, 
it you started with windows, you don't really know what you can do, it 
started with linux you cannot get a handle on all the things that are 
available for you to do, so that you can od the thing you need done at the 
moment?  I would like to hear some serious why nots, beside just the 
market .. what about the needs?



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