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

James Tauber jtauber at jtauber.com
Sat Feb 20 14:38:46 GMT 1999

>It seems that some of XML's original denizens aren't too happy about
>proposals for making XML useful in a broader set of fields than document
>publishing and interchange.  Paul pours cold water on having the Infoset
>group ponder anything new, and James says he'll be disappointed because XML
>is no longer focused on its original problem set.

Let me clarify: I have no problem with XML being used beyond its original
problem set. What I have a problem with is the notion that XML should forget
trying to solve its original problem set.

Jeffrey Sussna was suggesting that XML is moving and should move away from
"markup". I'm simply saying there are some people who still want the M in
XML. Sure, use XML for other things too. The wide range of applications
people are finding for XML excites me. But there are people that want to use
XML for markup and they should not be forgotten.

And pre-empting those that may label me some sentimental SGML old-timer, can
I point out I was not even in high-school when SGML became an ISO standard.

I was struck by your clause "XML is no longer focused on its original
problem set". Are you saying the W3C has changed its view of what XML is

>The delays in tools
>for managing, creating, linking, and presenting XML documents have left XML
>without very much to do for documents - presenting unlinked documents in
>beta viewers isn't especially exciting, and so far XML hasn't made much of
>a dent on its original claim to be 'SGML for the Web'.

But this does not mean we should abandon that aim. That's my whole point.

If at the end of the day (and we are not there yet, remember) XML solves all
sorts of problems in application interoperation, object serialisation and so
on but does not solve the problems of document interchange, then XML has


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