Handheld computers

Matthew Gertner matthew at praxis.cz
Thu Nov 25 17:41:21 GMT 1999

Rick Jelliffe wrote:
> Vested interests?  Ah hear we go again: XML 1.0 as free-thinking XML
> turks fighting the crusty old SGML guard.  The idea that easing the
> migration path from "SGML" to "SGML-on-the-Web" is bad is laughable:
> that is what XML was supposed to do honey!  That was its main job, not
> some hijacking by moustachioed villians or over-protective priests.

Okay, maybe I went a little overboard with that vested interest
business. Paul made exactly the same point. On the other hand, I get
called honey even less often than I get called reasonable, so perhaps
the hyperbole can be justified. :-)

Quite seriously, it is a simple fact that many of the features that
found their way into XML are becoming increasingly redundant as various
auxiliary standards mature. When the dust has settled on the schema and
linking efforts (whether in 3, 6 or 12 months time), wouldn't it make
sense to look at features such as entities and notations with a critical
eye and decide whether they are still adding more value than they cost
in complexity (and subsequent barriers to understanding and implementing
XML). My very personal opinion is that the argument for SML based on
targetting devices with limited memory and computational power is bogus.
However, XLink, XPath, XML Schema, namespaces and all the rest are
expanding the scope, and thus the complexity, of XML everyday. If there
isn't some corresponding impetus for simplication in other areas then we
will indeed run up against a wall eventually. This may be inevitable,
but by taking the issue seriously now we can at least hope that it will
be later rather than sooner.


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