Feeler for SML (Simple Markup Language)

Thomas B. Passin tpassin at mitretek.org
Mon Nov 15 18:24:22 GMT 1999

Seems to me that there are several reasons to have commonality between XML and
WML, whether by SML or otherwise.
- Potential use of same tools (parsers, formatters, query engines, etc.).  Also
a larger  community developing them.
- A much larger pool of people who are familiar with working with the markup and
the tools (i.e., xml + wml have more developers than just wml alone).
- Much easier conversions between regular xml documents and documents designed
for wml-like uses.

Many people have noted that you can get most of "SML" by just not using various
XML features.  For wml-ish uses it would seem that there is a big need to handle
document fragments - another big topic here recently.  So when we get an xml
document fragment mechanism people are happy with, what's wrong with the wml
people standardising on an xml subset rather than a non-xml language?

Maybe the full xml document fragment mechanism would be too heavy-weight for
wml-ish applications, since there could be so much context information that
might be needed.  Then the wml standard could still be well-formed xml except
for the fragment wrapper.  This should still be relatively easy to handle for
wml-xml conversions.

So I'm saying that wml should become more closely overlapped with xml.

Tom Passin

From: Robert La Quey <robertl1 at home.com>

>>What I have in mind is a subset of XML, I'll call it Simple
>>(or Stupid) Markup Language (SML) for now, that simplifies XML
>>down to the bare essentials.  Ideally, it should also be a
>>subset of Canonical XML.  Here are some ideas:
>>o No Attributes (ouch!)
>>o No PI, Comments, Notations, or CDATA sections
>>o No document type declaration
>>o UTF-8 encoding only
>>o No non-character entity references
>>o No predefined character entities (I am iffy on this one)

>OK, enough lurking. I would like to pick this thread back up
>from the beginning and restart the discussion with a call for
>opinions from another crowd who seem (to me) conspicuously missing
>from the discussion. Are there any other lurkers in
>this group who have interest in the HDML->WML->XML=SML story?
>i.e. XML from the point of view of a very small systems (embedded)
>perspective. I think the SGML->XML crowd has pretty well stated
>their reasons for disliking SML. 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.
>As for lots of users. Ha! The largest cell phone community is already
>China with 25 Million users (UTF-8???). So the SML question they pose,
>while very different from the SGML world of woe and complexity, is perhaps
>of some importance.
>Is the overlap into the XML world worth pursuing or should the WML
>world just go its own way?
>Bob La Quey

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