Must XML be SGML compatible? (Was: An incompatible CData idea)

Paul Prescod papresco at
Wed Oct 29 01:55:08 GMT 1997

My argument for keeping XML a subset of SGML goes like this:

Are you happy with the process for developing and improving HTML? Do you
feel that the results are of high quality? Do you think that you've had
sufficient input? How much would it cost you to have input comparable
to, say, Netscape?

In order to influence ISO standards you need only be recognized as an
expert in your country. Unless your country is an ogliarchy or
dictatorship, this will cost you very little or nothing at all
(monetarily). Of course you will have a much more substantial impact on
the development of SGML if you can afford to fly to the meetings (which
is also the case with W3C meetings) but as I understand it (speaking
only for myself, with imperfect knowledge), even sitting on your butt in
your living room you can vote on ISO proposals if your national body
allows it.

To their great credit, W3C does not claim to be a standards body. I
speak for the W3C staff, but were I in their shoes I would be glad to
the moral weight of ISO protecting us from the shenanigans of the past
(can anybody say "FRAME"?).

The language that we use to encode humanity's knowledge should be a true
standard and not merely a "recommendation." That means that it should
be built upon our democratic institutions and not vendor consortiums.

 Paul Prescod

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