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Re: [xml-dev] Ten Years Later - XML 1.0 Fifth Edition?

Hi Noah,

On Feb 20, 2008, at 18:09, noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com wrote:
> You are right that there are many situations in which "reliable  
> enough"
> and "pragmatic" are the right bars to set.  I think it's too facile  
> to say
> that there aren't others who reasonably rely on a specification  
> like XML
> 1.0 to be much more stable than that.  I'm not entirely sure, but I  
> really
> do think both sides of the question need to be explored quite
> dispassionately.

I'm more than willing to believe that there are people who rely on  
XML being more stable than that, but I'd like to see some actual  
evidence of it, and would be interested in a rough estimate of how  
large that industry segment is and whether they can update fast  
enough or not.

For instance I have difficulty believing that any SOAP system would  
be at risk. SOAP has blissfully survived the nigh-inexistent  
interoperability that plagued XML Schema for years — tumbling over  
for a few characters would carry unfortunate irony.

Also, I've been out of the loop but I haven't seen a very strong push  
from the Membership to enforce radical stability in XML. I would  
expect anyone with a strong demonstrable stake in stringent  
immutability to track editions and make themselves known (even if  
through public feedback). So far I've heard complaints, but not with  
examples of applications that would indeed fall over.

Finally I'm scratching my head as I tend to have a bad memory on  
occasion, but I don't remember anyone making the promise that XML  
would never change. In fact, as far back as I can recall there have  
been talks of change — including through errata — and several years  
ago a precedent was set through the change of namespace of the xmlns  
attribute (in the Namespaces spec, which as far as I'm concerned is  
just as core as the XML one). Some people may have promised that XML  
wouldn't mutate, but those who made those promises were not in a  
position to hold them, and those who bought them were not paying  

None of this is an argument against full stability in itself, but  
given the above and given the very conservative pace at which XML is  
evolved I would like to see the burden of proof at least partially  
shifted to the shoulders of the cautious.

Robin Berjon
Hermes: I miss my wife and my oxygen.
Pr. Farnsworth: Yes, we all miss our loved ones and gasses.
                         -- Futurama

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