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

Michael Champion mike.champion at
Sun Nov 28 01:05:02 GMT 1999

----- Original Message -----
From: Gavin Thomas Nicol <gtn at>
To: <xml-dev at>
Sent: Saturday, November 27, 1999 6:23 PM
Subject: RE: Use cases for XML failure (was Re: #2 Re: [SML] Whether to
support Attribute or not?)

> > 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.
> Sure, so what? I was part of those battles, and I don't see the relevance.

There are two basic rationales for "SML" that we've discussed here:

1 - XML is bloated with features that make compliant parsers too bulky
and/or slow for handheld devices.  I'll admit that I'm less enamored of this
argument than when we started a couple of weeks ago, for roughly the reasons
that Gavin has mentioned in other posts.

2- XML is bloated with kludgy stuff that serves no real purpose except for
traditional SGML-like text processing applications,  making it unnecessarily
hard to learn and implement, and ultimately fragile to build upon.  I must
say that I'm becoming more enamored of this argument as we go along.

The relevance of my DOM ranting was to point 2 -- XML-related specs and
tools are unnecessarily complicated and delayed by the need to support the
least generally useful bits of the core spec

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