XML is boring (was Re: coming clean with the SGML crowd)

Samuel R. Blackburn sblackbu at erols.com
Fri Sep 11 12:28:41 BST 1998

You bring up some interesting points. I first heard about XML about a
year ago at the Microsoft Professional Developer's Conference in
San Diego. At first, I was very excited about the technology. I
came home and added XML to my freeware C++ class library.

What excited me about XML was it's ability to pass data in
a form that anyone could parse. Universal data transfer. Sounded
like a good idea to me.  The syntax of XML is wonderful. However,
IMHO XML is saddled with design goal #3 "XML shall be compatible
with SGML." I thought, "Oh great, yet another way to show pretty
text." I don't need another way of showing pretty text. HTML has
solved that problem well enough.

What I need is a way to pass data around so anyone can use
any part of it they wish. Looking at XML from a data centric
perspective, there are things in it that are worthless, DTD's
for example.

When asked why I use XML in my programs, I tell folks
"what HTML is to text, XML is to data." I've found XML to
be a wonderful solution to exporting data in an easily
consumable format. I could care less if a browser knows
how to consume XML.

Just my $.02,

Sam Blackburn

-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Murray-Rust <peter at ursus.demon.co.uk>
To: xml-dev at ic.ac.uk <xml-dev at ic.ac.uk>
Date: Friday, September 11, 1998 3:45 AM
Subject: XML is boring (was Re: coming clean with the SGML crowd)

>My retitling of this message is deliberately provocative, and I do NOT wish
>a flame war to ensue. I want the title disproved, but by *actions and
>evidence*, not statements of faith.
>Where are the excited XML hackers? You don't need a *browser* to do fun
>things. Where are the grad students (Paul Prescod doesn't count any longer


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