Feeler for SML (Simple Markup Language)

Michael Champion Mike.Champion at softwareag-usa.com
Mon Nov 15 16:30:27 GMT 1999

----- Original Message -----
From: Robert La Quey <robertl1 at home.com>
To: <xml-dev at ic.ac.uk>
Cc: Don Park <donpark at docuverse.com>
Sent: Monday, November 15, 1999 8:53 AM
Subject: Re: Feeler for SML (Simple Markup Language)

> Are there any other lurkers in
> this group who have interest in the HDML->WML->XML=SML
> story?

Well, I haven't exactly been lurking on this thread, but this is *exactly*
why I'm interested in "SML".  My employer is a database and enterprise tool
vendor that recently announced a strategic relationship with Nokia to help
make enterprise data available to WML-based applications.  I'm trying to
sort out how to best leverage our XML database technology and other XML
tools to help accomplish this.

> My own opinion is this. SML will
> happen (perhaps as WML, perhaps as many
> SMLs, a 1000 flowers bloom)
> as a de facto reality in arenas where fast product time to market
> and young engineers dominate the scene.

Again, that's exactly my concern here.  I'd like to see 1000 flowers growing
out of a specific subset of XML or the XML APIs rather than 1000 weeds
proliferating wherever natural selection takes them ;~)

> Is the overlap into the XML world worth pursuing or should the WML
> world just go its own way?

I hope that the WML world will be patient, learn from the XML world,
and try to work out a rational scheme for taking what is useful from
XML and gracefully ignoring that which is irrelevant.  For example, WML
itself is very analogous to HTML in that that markup is about appearance
rather than meaning.  Learn from the HTML->XML evolution in the Web as a
whole, don't repeat the mistake of failing to separate form from content!
Display XML data in WML (or HTML, or HDML, or whatever), but don't author or
store data in a specific display format.

Likewise I hope the SGML->XML world will understand that the same dynamics
that drove the evolution from SGML to XML are still at work -- simplicity,
conceptual clarity, and scalability are the characteristics of XML that the
people in the EDI and WML worlds care about . They don't care about
minimizing the differences between XML and SGML, they don't want to be
burdened with supporting markup or APIs that they will never need, they just
need somethat that works for them ... and will either "go their own way" or
go in a hundred different ways if the XML world doesn't meet them halfway.

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