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RE: [xml-dev] Victory has been declared in the schema wars ...

It’s not FUD … I don’t have any vested interest in XSD prevailing, and the 70,000 people at Microsoft probably have 140,000 different opinions on the matter.   It is probably hyperbole J  -- obviously RSS/Atom and ODF/OpenXML aren’t going away just because their normative spec changes from one metalanguage to another.  But I think it could derail XML’s overall adoption as the de facto standard for data interchange.


One reason is that after having experienced the XML world through the eyes of our customers’ feedback, they tend to see XML and XSD as more or less inseparable.  For example, the #1 question we’ve gotten about LINQ to XML (formerly known as XLinq) is “when will you have schema support?”  (See Ralf’s talk at XML 2006 for a progress report).  That surprised and disappointed me (as a “dochead” by instinct), but it’s the reality I have to live in.  


Second, the “cool people” seem to be looking for alternatives to XML, or are treating it as a boring part of the infrastructure that you don’t have to think hard about.  XML’s main selling point is its ubiquity; making people think about it rather than just going with the flow is a prescription for fragmentation.  That might be a Good Thing in the long run (and a lot more fun than trying to figure out why your XSD validator fails on somebody else’s conformance test), but not good for the paying customers in the short run.   Think what you want about monopolies and noblesse oblige, “keep the customers happy” is the rule by which I’m judged.


Finally, I really don’t think that XSD is dramatically “worse” than the rest of the XML corpus.   The people who really specialize in and understand the spec can work with it, and the WG is addressing the worst flaws in 1.1  DTDs are what cause us the most day to day pain. Namespaces are probably second.  If you are going to repair the foundation, why not just pull down the whole house and rebuild it “properly”?  There are good reasons not to do this, of course, but I’m not sure we’d be able to resist the temptation.




From: Len Bullard [mailto:cbullard@hiwaay.net]
Sent: Tuesday, November 28, 2006 7:10 AM
To: 'Michael Champion'; xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: RE: [xml-dev] Victory has been declared in the schema wars ...


MC:  “…at this point it seems likely that XML itself will get buried in the rubble if the XSD towers are pulled down”


Most of us glossed right past that statement.  Are you saying that resistance to XML itself is serious enough that changing the internal schema machinery or providing support for an alternative would be costly enough or just enough friction to get the world wide web of users, buyers, sellers and developers to adopt another data interchange syntax? 


Is that FUD?  Is that speculation based on some other as yet undebated alternative such as JSON?  Is this a serious discussion inside Redmond or elsewhere?



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