Streaming XML (Was RE: XML Information Set Requirements, W3C Note 18-February-1999)

len bullard cbullard at
Wed Feb 24 01:31:34 GMT 1999

Borden, Jonathan wrote:

> Isn't that a grove? I'm saying this because when I look at the interfaces
> in Jade's groveoa, they look alot like the DOM (not that James defines what
> a grove is, but by implication I assume that this is at least what he thinks
> :-)

I'd be the last person on earth to say what James thinks.  James 
does that best.  

Still, yes I think that is where the information set requirements take 
one.  As said elsewhere and repeated often, it comes down to the 
interfaces and properties.  After the work done on interoperability and
in earlier projects, we came down to two solutions (pretty much what 
the Chameleon project said we would):

1.  Downtranslate to a common markup, eg, Rainbow DTD, HTML.  This 
was fine for portability.  It didn't really help interoperability.  HTML 
is great for getting the party started.

2.  Define a common meta-information set.  More or less an abstract 
up-translation but not really.  Nothing is translated.  Property values 
are expressed in a MoreMetaThanMarkup superset.  

Of the two, the latter was more flexible but it still required a 
common API of some kind to address the problems of interoperability.

That was then.

Now we have XML.  Essentially, it provides a standard for 
what most SGML systems implementors already knew to do.  Simplify the 
parser by eliminating features, forbid some practices that were 
onerous (minimization, inclusions, exclusions, etc) and so forth.  
XML 1.0:  AKA, SGMLAsPracticed.  Good.  Once done and the politics 
of imprisoning the Titans over, working groups formed for 
the next tasks of getting the APIs (eg, DOM, SAX) and now the 
Information Set (pick up the work done by HyTime and DSSSL). 
Finally, the markup community gets out of the quicksand of 
OneDTDShallBeSupreme and MyStyleBeatsYourContent.  Excellent.  

Nothing suggested on XML-Dev is new news.  When I see correspondents 
claim the cane-pounding elders are standing in the way of progress, 
I groan and know the work will just take a little longer.  I see 
examples like SAX, and I know that excellent work can be done 
on open lists.   I see suggestions to turn XML into an OOPL and 
quit wondering why some WGs are closed.

Meanwhile, go to work, build code over components, and get 
results for $99 that used to cost $.5 million.  It is a good day.

The funniest question I've heard lately: "How many vendors 
of Unix boxes are left?  So, then what is the difference?"


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