Use cases for XML failure (was Re: #2 Re: [SML] Whether to support Attribute or not?)

Michael Champion mike.champion at
Sat Nov 27 16:53:01 GMT 1999

----- Original Message -----
From: Rick Jelliffe <ricko at>
To: <xml-dev at>
Sent: Saturday, November 27, 1999 1:59 AM
Subject: #2 Re: [SML] Whether to support Attribute or not?

> If people are serious, they should first establish some use-cases
> of where XML fails.  This will also bring out the ramifications
> of simplicification.

My own use case for the failures of XML is XML-DEV!  We spend a majority  of
our bandwidth discussing the most obscure and least useful bits of the spec
(e.g., Does Production 14 forbid the string "]]>" in all CDATA elements, or
just CDATA marked sections?).

My experience with the DOM WG *and* my recent day jobs  is similar -- the
least useful parts of XML cause the most work for people supporting it.
Both CDATA sections and external parsed entities caused *massive* amounts of
work and contention for us in devising the DOM API.

The recent article helped me clarify my thinking here:  XML simply
has "entia multiplicanda praeter necessitatem", and (as the owner of a
long-haired dog and a long-haired cat) I've learned that a good application
of Occam's Razor to remove the hairballs may be unpleasant, but it will make
everyone happier in the long run.

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