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

From: Jonathan Robie [mailto:jonathan.robie@datadirect.com] 

>Two themes in this thread strike me as naive.

>The first naive theme is that the W3C is some kind of monopolistic force 
>that can, or tries to, force everyone to use every W3C standard. 

It is na´ve.  It has been a wide spread perception that it was the source
and that others needed to work through the W3C.  For a time, that provided
some convergence and for a time, it was useful.  Times change, but more
importantly, the speed of getting products to market perturbates against the
standards process and also against the specifications process if that has
too many inputs.  BTW, the W3C didn't claim to write standards.  We've done
that thread many times.  It is in fact that sort of claim in spite of the
W3C's own definitions to the contrary that further the perception that the
W3C is doing what it isn't.

>Standards have to succeed in the open market, and the W3C has developed 
>both successful and unsuccessful standards. Being a W3C standard is 
>enough to get noticed, but not enough to ensure adoption. Which is good.

Products have to succeed in the open market based on specifications that are
good enough to get a product based on them noticed.  Standards should be
based on successful products/

>The second naive theme is that technical superiority ensures customer 
>demand. W3C XML Schema has the advantage that it is supported by most 
>XML tools; RELAX-NG does not. I prefer RELAX-NG, but at the companies I 
>have worked for, there has never been real customer demand for it.

Chicken and egg.  True but irrelevant except insofar as there isn't a war
until someone starts one that some number of organizations and persons will
engage in.  The W3C has acted as the character of Edward Wilson says about
the CIA in the new movie, The Good Shephard, "We're here to make sure the
wars are little ones."  Can they continue to do that?  Maybe but I think it
is now a cooperative effort among multiple organizations offering
alternatives.  Tei asked why Microsoft doesn't hustle XAML on this list.
The reason is simple:  they'd be beaten witless and they don't have to
endure that.  They only have to sell a successful product to the open
market.

It's easy to get distracted.  My observations are that the W3C doesn't have
the clout it once had for better or worse, and that the choice of Relax
needs to be based on technical merit regardless of market perceptions
because the people who actually write schemas can make that choice just as
they once made the choice to use XML over continuing to use HTML-only.  It
takes time but only those choices will drive a company such as Microsoft to
support it.  In the interim, they will fight it just as they once supported
only their own version of an early version of XSD.





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