XML Schema and international Booleans

rev-bob at gotc.com rev-bob at gotc.com
Sat Nov 13 00:38:47 GMT 1999

Re: English-only boolean values

> The best practical steps you should take are
>     1) come up with a little complaint, an alternative proposal and
> justification
>     2)post this to the comment mailing list at W3C
>     3) also, notify the w3c i18n WG that you think the approach is
> wrong.
> Your comment might be particularly appropriate at this time.
> The other thing to consider is that XMl Schemas 1.0 is already looking
> late: I would prefer they leave out value renaming until XML Schemas 2.

Okay, perhaps this is a very stupid question, but here goes: Who cares if the schema 
spec meets a given deadline?  Exactly what is meant by it being "late"?

Think about this for a minute - would you rather have a product (or spec) that's ready 
tomorrow but still needs work, or a product that's going to be delayed a bit, but has been 
fixed?  Not to sound snippy, but as a user/developer, I absolutely abhor the "it's broken, 
but we'll fix it in the service pack" approach - I want to be able to use the product (or 
spec) when it's released...and if Getting It Right means delaying the release, I'm all for it.

If the logic behind this lateness involves vendors who are eagerly waiting to release 
software, then it becomes exponentially MORE important to fix it in the original spec - 
because a few years down the line, that software is still going to be around and 
developers are going to have to work around its limitations.  In the long view, which 
would you rather have - a momentary delay of the initial implementation, or an eternity 
of conforming to a spec that nobody favors because there are still tools out there that 
don't understand anything better?

Software doesn't go away.  I can go through logs from earlier this year and point out 
visitors to my site who use IE 2.1 (AOL edition) and Netscape 2.01 - which means that I 
still have to find some way to accomodate them.  In the case of NN2, that means 
deliberately breaking compliance with the spec to get around a browser bug.  I still see 
people using Windows 3.x - a piece of software fully six years old.  It's easy to look at 
those version numbers and shudder at how primitive that software was - but it's still out 
there, and still in use, so it still has to be accomodated if you care about accessibility.

Five years from now, we'll look back on current tools with similarly jaundiced eyes, and 
people like me will resent the "patch it later" attitude precisely because every time 
someone says that, the market fragments a little bit more (with no good reason!) - and 
that just means more work for those of us in the field.  Humbug, I say, humbug.  Get It 
Right - even if that means the timetable has to go out the window.  We've waited this 
long; a little longer won't kill us.

 Rev. Robert L. Hood  | http://rev-bob.gotc.com/
  Get Off The Cross!  | http://www.gotc.com/

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