Feeling good about SML

Marcus Carr mrc at allette.com.au
Tue Nov 16 22:11:11 GMT 1999

Don Park wrote:

> First of all, I do not believe there is any danger of XML being
> derailed.  Second, is it not true that XML derailed SGML?

I agreee with Ricko - I think that to fragment XML would cause nothing but confusion. A year
ago the talk was all "don't let XML developers get away with flouting the spec" - now we're
discussing mandating it? I dread the time when we need to choose the appropriate processors
for a document - it would be about as much fun as the browser wars were. I don't believe that
XML is so complicated that simplification is justified.

As to the question of XML derailing SGML, it simply isn't the case. Our SGML customers are
happy to stay where they are, secure in the knowledge that they can get to XML in the blink of
an eye when they need to. XML didn't derail SGML any more than it derailed databases. XML is a
facilitating syntax to make your data usable by others - if they understand this, I doubt if
many companies using SGML are the least bit bothered by XML. Excited that they can easily
repurpose their data, yes, but not bothered.


Marcus Carr                      email:  mrc at allette.com.au
Allette Systems (Australia)      www:    http://www.allette.com.au
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."
       - Einstein

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