Peter Murray-Rust peter at
Mon May 4 11:06:04 BST 1998

At 22:45 03/05/98 -0400, Paul Prescod wrote:
>"Here's our product. It isn't the best in its category, but we think it's
>pretty good value for the money. You may or may not agree. However you
>feel, please tell us so that we can add your comments to our next round of

About the maximum number of words for a general statement. 

On xml-dev we have always assumed that some tools will be commercial and
that an 'objective' announcement may - if appropriately presented - be of
value to the XML development community. In the early stages of development
there might only be a single (commercial) tool for an operation, or a
conflict between syntactic/semantic interpretation (see following message).
It's useful to know about these tools. Factual statements will often
benefit the community.

As any set of tools matures, then we would expect the value of posting such
information to diminish, being replaced by those that address the next set
of problems.

I should compliment the XML/SGML commercial community in that the balance
appears to have been well kept.

Some criteria might be:
	- will my product help the XML development community in general? [This is
the most critical.]
	- is my product almost entirely concerned with XML?
	- does the use of my product address horizontal problems rather than
vertical ones?
	- does the use of my product raise important issues for
	- is a free version of my product available for
	- am I responding to queries addressed on the XML-DEV list (or possibly
elsewhere, but raising important XML-DEV-related issues).
	- is my product novel?

It will *not* be appropriate to mention competitors's products ("FOO-BAR
doesn't do this"). Any comparison of products should be for the general
development of the XML-DEV community and preferably by someone not involved
with a manufacturer.

If so, a *brief* statement of the attributes of the product (see previous
message about missing platform information) is valuable at the start of the
posting. Try to refrain from describing every sub-menu item unless they are

There are specialist fora and resources for the announcement of XML
software and other products, and it may be more advantageous to post them

We shall *certainly* reach the stage where, if someone posts "convert your
SGML documents to XML for only $5000" (yes, I got a paper flier offering
this), we shall suggest it is inappropriate for XML-DEV as there are
already many robust ways of doing this.


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

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