Feeler for SML (Simple Markup Language)

Michael Champion Mike.Champion at softwareag-usa.com
Mon Nov 15 21:38:28 GMT 1999

----- Original Message -----
From: Tim Bray <tbray at textuality.com>
To: Michael Champion <Mike.Champion at softwareag-usa.com>; <xml-dev at ic.ac.uk>
Sent: Monday, November 15, 1999 12:23 PM
Subject: Re: Feeler for SML (Simple Markup Language)

> So what do you recommend?  Specifically please.

1 - I'd like to see an activity not unlike the one that defined SAX a couple
of years ago collaboratively researching what a minimal subset of XML and/or
the DOM  for high-performance and/or small footprint processors might look
like.  This would entail some actual code experiments to see if there really
is a significant decrease in processing time or code footprint by throwing
out support for these features.  If there's no empirically demonstratable
gain, I for one don't want to continue the pain of this discussion.

2 - Assuming for the moment that a gain can be demonstrated, I'd like to see
a mechanism in XML itself to allow XML messages, documents, etc. to specify
that they use only some defined subset of features. In other words, I'd like
to see some built-in mechanism for "bifurcating" XML without descending into
the chaos of non-interoperability.

3 - I'd like to see some specification or demonstration for how an XML
processor that is optimized for a subset of the spec can "barf" on external
entities or other unsupported features in a way that would allow it to
potentially extract useful information out of the document or message it's
processing.  For example, I might (for some reasons of my own) document or
"decorate" an XML message with attributes or entities, but when Don Park
gets it ;~) , his stripped down processor should be able to extract the
"wheat" (simple element values) and ignore the "chaff" (my documentation and
decoration). Such a mechanism would have to be much lighter weight than what
would be possible with DTDs or schemas.
(Again, if it can be demonstrated that something functionally equivalent can
be done *efficiently* without mucking with the XML spec, so much the

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