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RE: [xml-dev] Recent allegations about me

Michael Kay said:

> Certainly that's a field where multiple standards coexist. It would be
> better if there was only one, but that isn't always achievable.

I wouldn't even go as far as saying that it is always better to have one.
Rich ecosystem, etc. Also, as I think Michael is suggesting, if a standard
at ISO is basically an agreement between the participants, and if the
participants don't ultimately agree, then having two standards is just the
best that can be done.

For example, what about HTML? Are we better off having HTML and XHTML?
They pretty much overlap.

If it were decided to only have one standard for everything, does this
mean that ISO DSDL would have to decide whether to de-standardize either
DTDs or RELAX NG?  Choose between the different flavours of ISO PDF? That
the DOCBOOK people at OASIS would have to replace any structures that
overlap with ODFs?

More realistically, it also comes down to power. There are "enabling"
standards and "proscriptive" standards. XML is an enabling standard.
Closed DTDs are prosciptive standards; the trouble with proscriptive
standards is that they can allow the "majority" (i.e. whoever was
organized or together enough to get the first vote") to dictate to the
"minority". I don't like first-past-the-post technical restrictions,
whether by patent or by standard.

Rick Jelliffe

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