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Re: [xml-dev] "The syntax view" was Re: [xml-dev] [OT] Re: [xml-dev]Lessons learned from the XML experiment

On 11/17/13 3:34 AM, Timothy W. Cook wrote:
My interest in markup is not purely technological, but rather about markup's
being an almost unique intersection of humans and computers. Markup is a set
of tools that lets humans gets directly in the information flow.  Computers
are certainly still involved, but their role is minimized to the extent
I think I understand your perspective.  Except, possibly what you
intend to mean regarding 'information flow'.  Am I correct in that
this is in regards from one person to another person via computerized
Not necessarily directly, but "among people, with computers in the middle" seems accurate.

(There are people using XML for strictly computer to computer communications, like sensors and controls, but I see no good reason now to celebrate bloat.)

So, if I am correct in seeing your perspective that the purpose of XML
(in your perspective) is to delineate (markup?) textual content into
sections?  Also, that XML in its current and probable future state can
do this for you in the way that you choose to use it?

Can you *PLEASE* tell me how the fact that XML has other components
that addresses other uses cases outside your own use case, harms you
or your work in any way?

IOW: If you are not forced to use XSD or namespaces to accomplish your
goals with XML.  Why are you so adamantly against them when they are
useful to other people in different use cases.
Well, for starters, I get to waste hours of time explaining to people who've been brainwashed into thinking that XSD and namespaces are the One True Way of XML that there are other options. Even here, that's a surprising ordinary case. (Why am I writing this for sixteenth or so time on a Sunday morning?)

Those tools and the lessons they've taught make it extremely difficult to convince people to take another look, especially when the lessons they've taught people are to run screaming away from XML and not look back.

For a while, I figured that the XSD/Namespaces/etc. stuff would be fine, just not for me. Other people clearly do have different use cases. Then, thanks to my weird position as a writer, editor, and known critic, I had lots of people telling me about how those tools were seen as the ruin of entire projects. The stories added up too well.

I heard similar stories about XSLT, but at least in those cases I could _usually_ identify where XSLT had been the wrong tool for the job. XSD/Namespaces stories were reliably about specifications gone brittle, priorities set badly by people seeing different pieces of the same schemas, and waterfall processes that made it hard to correct these issues.

That doesn't mean there aren't use cases where XSD/Namespaces/etc. do apply and can succeed. Nor does it mean that my case is right. It does, however, make me marvel that the folks pushing XSD and Namespaces go right on doing it as if they weren't selling toxic waste.

So yes - an answer you probably won't like. XSD and Namespaces have made the XML ecosystem toxic. "It works for me" gets repeated here like "Every day in every way I get better and better" gets repeated by the self-hypnotists of the Coue method.

That's a lot of why I talk about markup in most contexts, and avoid talking about XML unless it's to an XML audience or reached that level of specificity.

I have asked questions on this list about XML technologies that are
specified and are in common use across domains.  Hoping to get answers
from people with more experience in XML.  Like you, I know my domain.
I can make the decision whether or not XML technologies are a good
fit, if I can get technological NOT philosophical answers.
If you don't want philosophical answers, perhaps you should ask your programs instead of people?

Take a look at your foundations again. They're getting more brittle all the time.

Simon St.Laurent

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