Peter Murray-Rust peter at
Sun Apr 26 15:27:40 BST 1998

At 18:06 25/04/98 -0700, Don Park wrote:
>It is my opinion that further discussion on the topic is unnecessary and
>even harmful to the sanity of Peter the Great, Czar of Listmania.

[the sanity] disappeared a long time ago. "grey-hairs ... a jester and a

I have (as I said) only once suggested a discussion was off-course - a
decision from which I have acquired wisdom. The current discussions are
focussed and valuable. [I will write further about the original motives of
XML-DEV, but like all web institutions they evolve.]. In general I only
post LISTRIVIA to comment on the heat of some postings (only twice) and on
redundant byte-count (frequently).

[For any newcomers and those who may have forgotten the communal discipline:
	- use quoting carefully, and review it to make sure that there is nothing
	- always avoid copying:
		- the whole of the last message(s)
		- the XML-DEV sig
	- always avoid replying to the original poster as well as to the list.

Both the process and the discussion on ontologies/inheritance represent the
problems we are currently facing and IMO are fully appropriate.  When
XML-DEV started there were essentially no implementations of XML and it was
my concern that it would be very easy to discuss complex issues (like the
current ones) while neglecting the immediate need to make sure that simple
XML actually worked.

I have always been keen to see 'semantics' addressed here, since I have
felt that it would be a major challenge for the XML community. One aspect
(which some of us use 'semantics' for) was how the spec should be
interpreted in software. SAX has helped us avoid the first level of
problems here, and I hope we can do the same with the next generation of
issues (e.g. XLink, where I would very much like to see a generic
approach.) PaulP's comment - about the spec only formally requiring
whitespace to be passed - shows the sort of hidden assumptions that are
inevitable when writing specs (I do not believe that a spec  could usefully
be written without prose).


Peter Murray-Rust, Director Virtual School of Molecular Sciences, domestic
net connection
VSMS, Virtual Hyperglossary

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