RFD: comp.text.xml

Steven Champeon schampeo at hesketh.com
Sun May 3 21:47:54 BST 1998

On Sun, 3 May 1998, len bullard wrote:
> Simon St.Laurent wrote:
> > 
> > XML is more than a subset of SGML.  It has its own limitations, its own
> > practices, and its own audience.  
> So far, it has a new name.

Len, you're sounding a bit defensive. Do you think C would have gotten as
far as it did if every time someone brought it up, someone else popped up
to remind everyone that it was inspired by BCPL? Need we say that Java was
once named Oak in order to reap its benefits?

I started out working with SGML, waited for the CALS table model, hung
out wondering when DSSSL would be done, learned Author/Editor's internal
styles language as a desperation measure, bemoaned the ridiculous complexity
of FOSI, and when the Web hit I never looked back. I'm thrilled to death
that the idea of separating presentation from markup has become a reality
for those of us without multi-million dollar consulting budgets, and I'm
thrilled that XML will be part of the next generation of browsers. I'm 
afraid that Microsoft has cornered the market on Windows-based XML parsing,
by virtue of its being built into the "Internet Explorer OS Upgrade" blob
they seem to be pushing as a pre-req for any new application installs,
but the fact that there is a standard to appeal to - a simple standard,
which doesn't give MS much cover should they decide to slightly alter
their implementation. I think it's amazing that there are fully-functional
parsers out there today. AFAIK, there isn't a single application out there
which fully supports all of the SGML arcana.

Len, I've known you since my first days reading comp.text.sgml, and I
respect your enlightened approach to subjects both technical and humane.
Please don't expect XML to be a bait-and-switch move to bring SGML into
everyone's home. And please recognize that XML is a powerful, simple, 
iteration on some of the ideas espoused by SGML. Where XML will not suffice,
perhaps SGML will thrive. But where XML will suffice, its users need not
know thing one about SGML. In my mind, this is a good thing.

Steven Champeon               | "While we're all very dependent on
http://hesketh.com/schampeo/  |  technology, it doesn't always work."
http://a.jaundicedeye.com     |        - Bill Gates

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