MS XML parser only works with IE...

Simon St.Laurent SimonStL at
Tue Nov 25 14:09:48 GMT 1997

>The other point is that floating "&" is required in SGML (even with the 
>WebSGML adaptations, which have been accepted and are now being wordsmithed).
>Short tagging "</>" is an optional feature that can be enabled.

I think we would do well to remember that XML is NOT SGML and should not be 
allowed to fall prey to the incredible number of 'options' that have made SGML 
worthless to a large number of developers.  Short tagging is NOT an optional 
feature of XML, and should NOT be a feature of MSXML either.  If it is allowed 
to be an optional feature, than my XYZ parser is either going to have to 
accept Microsoft's 'extensions' or reject a lot of documents created by people 
who only tested on the Microsoft tools.

>XML is a choice of particular
>features by various boffins and experts, and so XML will inevitably be 
>suboptimal for some uses.  

Fine.  Let's start off suboptimal and get a standard that works instead of a 
standard that can be embraced and extended by any software company that thinks 
it has a new grand idea.

>Give us more, Chris and Andrew!  Allow entities to have
>attributes like SGML does.  Allow tag ommission like SGML and HTML do! 

Do not give us more, Chris and Andrew, if you really like XML.  If you want to 
kill it quickly, add lots of extra SGML parts. 

>The problem is not with Microsoft for making their XML parser also handle
>SGML better, the problem will be with users of the parser in software if they
>use these features over the web rather than inhouse.  I.e. the problem is
>"us" not "them".

The problem is an incompatibility between the "us"es and "them"s of the world. 
 Keep XML as clean as possible, at least for now. Forget everything you knew 
about SGML's intricacies and focus on what XML, not SGML, can do for the 
world, and with any luck, the world might take XML sersiously.

While working on XML: A Primer, I used the Alpha 1.0 MSXML to test my code, 
aware of many of its difficulties. As I discovered when 1.6 came out, it had 
let me wander outside the spec in a number of key places (mixed declarations, 
for one) that took my code outside of valid XML.  I've fixed it all now, but 
the experience has left me extremely wary of tools that go beyond the 
standard, intentionally or accidentally.

Simon St.Laurent
Dynamic HTML: A Primer / XML: A Primer (January) / Cookies (February)

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