Thomas B. Passin tpassin at idsonline.com
Fri Nov 19 13:58:43 GMT 1999

----- Original Message -----
From: Sebastian Rahtz <sebastian.rahtz at computing-services.oxford.ac.uk>

> Betty L. Harvey writes:
>  > I give credit to Tim Berners-Lee
>  > for the insight to recognize that SGML was format for the Web - HTML.
>  > could have chosen NROFF, RUNOFF - any of those other system formatting
>  > languages but he chose SGML - Thank you very much.
> But he didn't choose SGML. He saw some SGML documents and borrowed
> some of the look of it. I am sure that he would not claim that he
> understood SGML at the time.
> Sebastian Rahtz

Sebastian has beautifully illustrated my point from a previous post.  Many
(most, I'll bet) HTML writers looked at HTML pages and "borrowed the look"
of them - that's how they got started.  And it worked for them.  XML is
pretty much the same way, and it works too.  But you can't do C++, or SGML,
that way, for example.  You can't do everything this way that XML is capable
of either, but most people don't need to do everything.  Simplifying XML (or
really its use) will help to maintain the incredibly fast start it has had.
We shouldn't lose the simplicity in the name of the more complex uses, just
add optional layers.  This does seem to be the way things are going (schemas
and xslt being layered on top of xml, for example).

Tom Passin

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