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Re: [xml-dev] Failed XML standards

Elliotte Rusty Harold wrote:
> On Sat, Nov 14, 2009 at 12:49 PM, Simon St.Laurent
> <simonstl@simonstl.com> wrote
>> A this point, personally, I'd drop coverage of XLink and XPointer.  A
>> paragraph seems reasonable.
>> XInclude does get use in back-end processing, so I'd leave it in, most
>> likely - at least as a sidebar in the entity processing section.  It doesn't
>> require a huge amount of space to explain in any case.
> Sounds about right, though XInclude references XPointer so it's hard
> to really say.
I think this is a bit arse-ended: even apart from the dubious idea that 
we should consider a standard successful only if it sells books or 
achieves ubiquity in platforms (rather than, say, a standard being 
successful if it can be used to solve some problems well.)

Let me put it like this: one of the original goals of XML was "The 
number of optional features in XML is to be kept to the absolute 
minimum, ideally zero." This was because the highly parameterized 
approach that SGML took was not appropriate, for various reasons: one of 
which was that if there were optional features, you could not be 
guaranteed that the recipient could handle your document.

And so what happened after that?  A stream of piddly little standards 
for optional things: XBase, XInclude, xml:id.  And what is the result? 
It is impractical to rely on them: or, at least, they don't relieve the 
developer of any decision making or programming, since the developer has 
to enable them or program for them on a case-by-case basis.

Rick Jelliffe

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