True XML compliance (Re: Sean McGrath's posts to XML-L)

W. E. Perry wperry at
Thu Apr 2 16:01:56 BST 1998

 [Sean Mc Grath]
           Thu, 2 Apr 1998 12:06:24 +0100
          General discussion of Extensible Markup Language

>>Binary formats and APIs *constrain* the uses to which data can be put.
They make information >>"application owned" rather that "creator owned".

>>Binary formats are hunky dory for internal application use and I am
all for it as long as the >>application provides a XML data
representation that I can get at. Once I have this I *know* that >>I am
not constrained by any vendor in terms of what I can do with my data.

>>With XML I know that I can rapidly develop applications without
dusting off yet another badly >>documented, buggy API and spending weeks
just getting my head around the data structures.

>>XML raises the base level of data interchange above plain text by
allowing markup intermingled >>with the text to describe complex


This is exactly what XML compliance should mean. Application vendors
claiming XML compliance should be obliged to provide import from/export
to functions and to provide (or even better, to generate ad hoc) an
accurate DTD describing the schema. Binary file developers would provide
utilities to do the same thing.

Does anyone suppose that this is what Microsoft means by its
'commitment' to XML?

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