DTD invented by Microsoft?!

Giovanni Flammia flammia at sls.lcs.mit.edu
Thu Jun 26 16:49:51 BST 1997

As someone who is not used to write DTDs, I appreciate the
proposed by Henry Thompson. With XML, less is more. So, for example, I
can see
why constraining XML documents to be trees is better than allowing
people to encode
arbitrary object graphs.

Isn't XML and its extensions to become "SGML for the masses, without

If you keep a gentle learning curve for people to create new tags, I am
the popularity of XML will spread like wildfire. I apologize if this
might seem misplaced, but if one has to learn
full-blown SGML syntax and how to write DTDs, then most people who
are afraid to get into SGML now (and are currently occasional users of
SGML w/o dwelling into
DTDs) will be also afraid to work with XML.

I am a little bit confused about how much power of expression should XML
If an XML document encodes detailed semantics about how to process its
elements, like a full blown programming language, and you have to use an
IDL for it, isn't XML competing with distributed object communication
(e.g., CORBA), and distributed object databases (e.g., ObjectStore) but
much less efficient (requiring parsing to communicate with objects,
rather than calling the objects' methods directly)? How does all this
fit together?

Shouldn't XML be specialized to expose just enough of the semantics
necessary to improve
indexing, searching, and multi-modal display of Web documents?

Giovanni Flammia
flammia at sls.lcs.mit.edu

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