XML Information Set Requirements, W3C Note 18-February-1999

Rick Jelliffe ricko at allette.com.au
Sat Feb 20 14:19:35 GMT 1999

From: Simon St.Laurent <simonstl at simonstl.com>

>  Paul pours cold water on having the Infoset
>group ponder anything new, and James says he'll be disappointed because
>is no longer focused on its original problem set.

No, Paul just said that the Info Set group are not charged with doing
anything new, just with documenting what exists. And James said he
doesnt want anything that may impede XML's usefulness, not that new uses
are not welcome.  (pauses to spit out some squid from the supposed
"coconut bun"...yuch)

Indeed, I am sure that ISO SC34 would be very interested in
well-reasoned extensions/simplifications/alterations of SGML which have
industry support, test implementations, and  which move or optimise SGL
for other classes of distribution media. Now that the spec is out,
everyone who needs something else will try to change it; but it may be
better to use the particular tradeoffs of the other medium to create an
entirely new (SGML-based, XML-influenced) language or notation(rather
like that XML-in-ASN.1 that some of the telecomms people have proposed).

>If you take the stance that XML is about documents and only about
>documents, it may seem that these proposals for XML are in competition
>document-oriented applications.

Do you mean "documents" (packages of structured information) or
"electronic publishing"? I think you mean the latter.

XML-like SGML has been used for years in applications other than
publishing: someone told me that Xerox have used an XML-like syntax to
deliver copier diagnostics to repairmens' PDAs for almost 10 years now.
(Can anyone confirm this?)

HyTime was encouraged in part because of CIA interest in languages for
orchestrating satellite movements, I have been told, too. Indeed, HyTime
grew out of a desire to formally analyse performances of music.

Music performances, satellite movements, diagnostic data: these are not
"publications" but they all can be "documents".

Rick Jelliffe

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