A call for reason

Daniel Veillard Daniel.Veillard at w3.org
Mon Nov 29 10:22:54 GMT 1999

On Mon, Nov 29, 1999 at 12:03:11AM -0500, Joe Lapp wrote:
> I'm learning through the grapevine that some people of influence are opposed to the SML effort.  I'm going to argue that provided SML ends up a subset of XML, as it should, the only conflict SML has with XML is the name.  I walk through this step-by-step out of fear that I might leave someone with insufficient information to read between the lines.

  My personal opinion is that SML is not a problem. I do understand that
some people may not like some of the extra feature inherited from SGML
(for example DTD syntax and validation limit, PIs), and using only a subset of
XML makes sense in a lot of cases. Defining formally a sub level of support
would help sharing a common software base, so it's sound to me.

  But I start to be quite worried at the idea that for whatever reason
SML documents may turn not being a well formed XML one, c.f.:


Because it's clear that SML data have to be exported widely and reused easily,
that's the goal of the whole XML effort and it's reason for success.
If suddently XML "like" data starts to appear in mass, but breaking
the XML parser, my fear is that (like we have seen for HTML) parser will
loosen their checkings and we will inherit again an HTML like mess ! And
that I will fight with all the energy I can.

  Like Tim Bray expressed a couple of time, I'm not sure that the few extra
feature of Well Formed XML will really make huge differences in the cost
of implementations, but trying it definitely makes sense and it's hard for
a single person to really appreciate all the specrum of uses in which 
XML is being applied right now.

  So SML is an interesting idea, but KEEP it Well Formed XML !

Daniel (speaking for himself obviously !)

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