A Plea for Schemas

Matthew Gertner matthew at praxis.cz
Tue Nov 2 10:28:38 GMT 1999

Len Bullard wrote:
> Enjoyable.  It is good to see some reasonable passion from a
> reasonable mind.  Here is some rant for the rant.

Thanks, I hardly ever get called reasonable. :-)

> o  "the 1980s, Charles Goldfarb invented SGML".  Ok for a
> rant, but ISO created SGML. If any man can be said to
<snip many interesting details about the genesis of SGML>

> o  "..thousands loved it."  Conceded.  SGML was an expensive
<snip many interseting details about the rate of adoption of SGML and
the subsequent rise of HTML>

Really interesting stuff. When I first sat down and wrote the
introduction it was about 10 times longer and contained some of this
information, but it didn't seem especially relevant in the context of
pleaing for schemas, so I pared it down to the point where it is mostly
just a bunch of plausible-sounding lies. You know much more than me
about this anyway, so the decision was probably wise.

> o  HTML is a subset of SGML:  NYET.  Get out the ruler
> and rap the knuckles.   XML is a subset of SGML.  HTML
<snip clarification of the relationship between SGML and HTML>

Ouch. Whatever happened to poetic license? I thought "a hobbled subset
of SGML" sounded snappier than "an SGML application specifying a
vocabulary for the transfer and display of hypertext documents". The
latter would also have detracted from the humorous value of the
paragraph, of which there is hopefully at least some.

<more snipping>

> Tell 'em, "ahh, XML Works.  We just don't agree on how."

Seems like a healthy state of affairs. If we keep churning the idea
bucket the One True Way will eventually become obvious.


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