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Re: [xml-dev] A question of necessity

On 04/25/2016 02:49 PM, Steve Newcomb wrote:
> In my personal (and fairly unpopular) view, pointing the finger of blame
> for communications failures was always what SGML was all about, and the
> single most important thing that XML got wrong was to remove the
> pointability of the finger of blame.  Why even mention a "namespace" if
> it doesn't *actually* constrain the structure and content of the data? 

I'm not so sure that "blame" is the right approach, although it's
certainly one way of looking at it.

Many aeons ago, when all this stuff was new, there were ideas mooted
about modular design and "snap-together" DTDs and publicly-retrievable
assembly fragments. I first encountered them at an early ALLC/ACH
meeting, but that was more by accident than anything else. The idea
seemed to be that you should be able rapidly to bolt together a DTD for
an application by using an appropriate selection of modules taken from
otherwise disparate places -- lists like TEI does them; sectional
structures like DocBook does them; decoration like HTML does it; and so
on. Just who was supposed to coordinate, manage, or adjudicate over all
this was never discussed, so it died, but it was in essence the naming
of spaces which did constrain structure and content.


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