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Re: [xml-dev] RE: James Clark: XML versus the Web


Interesting - and my comments were not intended to be critical (well, except for the XPath interfaces ... sorry, those stunk ;-)

I saw this from the perspective of a developer trying to use these emerging standards at the time - and more, trying to understand what exactly was going on in that regard. DOM was necessary - there's no question there. I had always assumed that it was ultimately intended to disappear into the background as other technologies built layers on top of it, and, to be honest, that's what did happen (that's what AJAX is, after all). it's just that somewhere along the line, XML fell out of the equation.

Kurt Cagle
XML Architect
Lockheed / US National Archives ERA Project

On Tue, Dec 7, 2010 at 7:51 PM, Gavin Thomas Nicol <gtn@rbii.com> wrote:
> My experience with DOM came about in late '98, when Microsoft was beginning
> to explore the XML space with early prototypes of XSLT, schema and DOM. I
> was writing one of the earliest programmatic books on XML, though that was
> only evident in hindsight. The technology (DOM) was fairly radical for its
> time, trying to provide a set of interfaces for integrating XML with other
> languages - especially given that the XML spec itself was still largely
> evolving "away from" SGML at the time.

I was around in the various working groups etc. at the time, and produced the first DOM draft API based on the SGML property set, and came into the DOM working group expecting it to be a) something about object models, and b) something about XML. It actually turned out that most of the DOM effort was put into standardizing the browser API's.... and XML tool vendors were left to pick over the bones. While many of the API's might have been new, much of the functionality existed, and hence the DOM inherited a lot of backward compatibility overhead, even in the core. I think various different groups had different expectations, but the 800 lb gorillas were representing the browser needs...

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