Is XML getting too hard?

Peter Murray-Rust peter at
Wed Aug 19 13:48:32 BST 1998

At 10:25 19/08/98 +1000, James Robertson wrote:
>I apologise in advance for the low information content of
>this message. It's just that I've been lurking on this list
>for a while now, while keeping busy implementing practical
>SGML solutions ... and I think I've reached the "straw that
>broke the camel's back".

Don't feel the need to apologise. So long as something constructive arises 
that is all that XML-DEV cares about.

>Instead, lets pour all our efforts into releasing XML-aware
>software. Make it a standard first before aiming for the
>moon ...
I have great sympathy with this. There is no doubt that multiple
independent variant semi-conforming parallel semi-implementations of all
these specs would kill XML. In practice I think we have to:
	- have implementations of XML that are either FEW or completely
interchangeable. The latter is critically dependent on public activity and
involves APIs, freeware, portable s/w (i.e. not platform-specific),
examples and tutorials.
	- develop in a modular fashion, use layering, develop APIs.
	- do nothing that isn't necessary.
	- get some simple tools out to prove the XML concept. Editing and browsing
are clearly key.

I personally share this feeling of being overwhelmed, but postings like
James Clark's today [early free releases of XSL and WD] may just about work
for me. But I have had 2-3 years to learn XML and I spend a lot of time on


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

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