SAX and Standards Bodies (was Streaming XML?)

Simon St.Laurent simonstl at
Mon Feb 22 20:36:17 GMT 1999

At 12:48 PM 2/22/99 -0500, David Megginson wrote:
>Thank you very much for the suggestion (and for the implicit vote of
>support), but I'm afraid that handing SAX over to a standards body
>would be its doom.
>Right now, SAX is an open spec designed in public view on the XML-Dev
>mailing list -- we all get to see each-others' unpolished, stupid
>ideas as soon as they emerge, and we knock them back and forth until
>they look like something.  
>The alternative would be to hand SAX over to a standards body that
>might or might not set up a working group, that might or might not in
>a year or two put out a working draft, that almost certainly wouldn't
>look anything like the SAX we all know today.

I agree completely with David - SAX's strength comes from its openness
rather than the imprimatur of a group of vendors.  Given the (still) early
phase of XML development, keeping that process open to as many potential
implementors and users (not just commercial vendors) is critical to the
success of SAX as a common interface.  In this case, the W3C's neglect of a
spec is, I think, benign.

It also sets an encouraging standard of its own as an open-process spec
(not just open-source software) that's doing quite well.

Simon St.Laurent
XML: A Primer / Building XML Applications (April)
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