Feeling good about SML

Michael Champion Mike.Champion at softwareag-usa.com
Mon Nov 22 04:53:53 GMT 1999

----- Original Message -----
From: Tim Bray <tbray at textuality.com>
To: Michael Champion <Mike.Champion at softwareag-usa.com>; XML Dev
<xml-dev at ic.ac.uk>
Sent: Sunday, November 21, 1999 12:08 PM
Subject: Re: Feeling good about SML

> At 09:13 AM 11/19/99 -0500, Michael Champion wrote:
> >That's precisely what Don Park is doing -- trying to get us to figure out
> >what in XML is of "fundamental significance", and what is merely residue
> >the SGML legacy and impedes understanding, implementing, processing, and
> >using XML in the real world.
> Hmm... in the part of the real world where I live, there seem relatively
> few impediments to the understanding, implementation, processing, and use
> of XML.  Just going on the evidence of what I see. -Tim

But Tim, you quite literally (co-)wrote the book on XML ... and one of the
first parsers, and I'm sure a ton of XML applications.  No one would expect
*you* , or anyone with SGML expertise, for that matter, to have any trouble
understanding, implementing, or using it.  But how about the rest of the
real world?

>From the evidence that I see here and other XML and W3C mailing lists, a
disproportionate number of the misunderstandings, implementation problems,
and practical problems we talk about would be moot if Don Park had his way

Without DTDs, we wouldn't have to argue about whether they are useless or
not.  Without external parsed entities, we wouldn't have to argue about
whether they are evil or not.  Without CDATA sections, we wouldn't have to
argue about whether they are mere syntactic sugar or whether they have some
semantic content. Without PIs, we wouldn't argue about whether the XML
declaration is a PI or not ... Without Notations, nobody would ask what they
are and what they're good for.

Obviously all these things have their uses and users who depend on them.
Don's not asking those people to stop using them (or arguing about them). He
is challenging us to figure out if -- in the light of real-world
experience -- they have proved their worth as *fundamentally necessary*
components of XML.

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