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RE: [xml-dev] Web history

Hi Dave:

As much fun as it is to joke about this, this could be a hairy thing to
do.  Why?

1.  Pre-XML would infer SGML for those of us here.  XML, however, was
SGML On the Web originally, not meant to replace SGML although that is
what it was turned into. (Sorry, Mike Sperberg-McQueen, but I stand by
that, your speech irregardless.)  

2.  Skip over that and it narrows down to the SGML As Applied To
Hypertext/Media before XML.  So then the Oxford project doesn't really
apply does it?   In fact, you are left with the US military community
for the most part, that is, the work done at GE, Lockheed Martin, US
Navy David Taylor Model Basin, and the US Air Force, aka, the "Lunatic
Fringe of SGML" as the early IETMers were called and a couple of
products.  Do we only count the ones that did as XML imitated and
decoupled DTDs?  

3.  Do you count the work Truly Donovan did (is HTML really an invention
or an adaptation)?  Who can say?

4.  Does HyTime/DSSSL count since most of it was thrown away?

5.  Of these projects, which are considered contributors and how can you
tell?  IOW, you are asking what constitutes "invention"?

6.  Is this project gathering papers that serve to document prior art or
simply to provide a focused if narrow history of The Web?  When does it
begin and end because clearly the efforts mentioned above, e.g., the
four billion dollar CALS effort that educated many of us played a role
after 1994 and therefore all of those efforts mentioned above play a
role in the "invention" of the web?  Of the people I see on that WG so
far, few if any have the background knowledge to evaluate that.

I'm not mentioning the clear antecedents of the web such as Hypercard,
Plato, the Intelligent Tutoring Systems, MS Help and its siblings, or
the document generators because they may have contributed but aren't
markup.  Their inventors can defend them. I'm not mentioning HTTP (a
child of FTP) because that is not a part of this mail list history.
OTW, this becomes a history of markup/GML/SGML/XML and a chapter
dedicated to HTML which has fuzzy beginnings.

That's a lot of strands to weave.  Who says what goes in and what goes
on the cutting room floor?


-----Original Message-----
From: DaveP [mailto:davep@dpawson.co.uk] 
Sent: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 8:32 AM
To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: [xml-dev] Web history


"Web History Community Group
This group gathers people interested in the history of the World Wide 
Web: how it was invented, what was out there that made it possible, and 
what happened in its early years. Our main goal is to collect and 
preserve valuable information (software, documents, testimonials) before

it is lost.

This group will not produce specifications.

How many pre-XML people still lurk here?

Could be a valuable reference.


Dave Pawson


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