Is XML 1.0 underspecified? (was: Re: CDATA by any other name...)

Sean Mc Grath digitome at
Sat Oct 31 09:10:11 GMT 1998

[Greg Reynolds]
>I would agree we shouldn't be too harsh on the standard as written; the
>W3C intentionally does things fast, which is good on the whole, but it
>means pragmatism wins out over aesthetics sometimes.  But I also agree
>using Z would be a very big step forward.

What he said. If the W3C had landed the XML 1.0 in Z or VDM or
something we wouldn't have half as many implementations as we
currently have. Sure we now need more formalism to ensure that
XML goes from strength to strength but without the balance of
approachability/formalism XML 1.0 uses we would not have got

It must also be rememembered that SGML from which XML sprung
has very complex interplays between parsing modes, logical and
physical structures. Some of this was bound to leak over into


The "Swiss Army Laser Beam" of programming languages

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