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

Steven R. Newcomb srn at
Wed Oct 29 18:49:47 GMT 1997

Paul, I wish I had said this.  It's practically my credo.  It goes far
beyond XML.  XML just happens to be a wonderful example of people
working together to do the right thing, including being relevant to
the right decision-making processes.  The XML process's sensitivity to
the principle of "a government of laws, not of men" is striking and
inspiring.  XML's recognition of the defining role of the ISO puts it
in the vanguard of responsibility to human rights in a
corporation-dominated world.


             Steven R. Newcomb   President
         voice +1 716 271 0796   TechnoTeacher, Inc.
           fax +1 716 271 0129   (courier: 23-2 Clover Park,
      Internet: srn at    Rochester NY 14618)
           FTP:   P.O. Box 23795
    WWW:   Rochester, NY 14692-3795 USA


[Paul Prescod <papresco at>:]

> 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
> can't speak for the W3C staff, but were I in their shoes I would be
> glad to have the moral weight of ISO protecting us from the
> shenanigans of the past.

> 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.

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