Do SGML and XML co-exist?

David Megginson david at
Thu Nov 18 02:36:58 GMT 1999

Len Bullard writes:

 > I sat with the Netscape product manager and had a long discussion
 > in Monterey.  Netscape was late to the party.  Sun found something
 > for Java to do and Oracle joined the party once the W3C pushed
 > hard.  No, in the beginning, David, it was just us chickens and
 > Little Blue.  MS was the smartest bunch in the pack.  Do they do
 > unscrupulous things?  I don't know, but when it comes to
 > recognizing an opportunity and working it, no one is better.  Give
 > 'em credit for knowing how to work the room.

Yes, and admittedly Len knows much more about the early history than I
do, since I wasn't in on those meetings.

I think that we're making different points, though -- my point is that
in the crucial few months immediately *after* XML 1.0 went to REC,
when it had a flash of media attention and had to either gain quick
acceptance or join the very large scrapheap of politely-ignored specs,
XML had or acquired the backing of Sun, IBM, Oracle, and even Netscape
as well as MS.  If XML had gone to REC with only MS and its hangers-on
backing it, it would probably have failed or at least spluttered a

To Microsoft's credit, they were in the game early (I know that it
took a long time for Sun to really notice XML, even though Jon was
chairing the committee), but that doesn't matter as much to the
outside world, as long as everyone's there at the end.

All the best,


David Megginson                 david at

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