[SML]My opinion - SML in general

Kent Sievers ksievers at novell.com
Tue Nov 30 17:09:51 GMT 1999

I am not interested in changing parsers or creating a competing standard.  If SML is not a strict subset of XML then I am simply not interested.  My definition of a subset would fall in line with "defining an XML language which chooses not to use <insert feature list here>".  

I would like to see where the SML simplification takes us, at least as an exercise, because I am very concerned about the complexity of each new recommendation that is comming out and trying to build upon previous recommendations.  I am also convinced that the dropping of some of the things that have been suggested could significantly simplify DOM, namespaces, XSL, queries, schemas, pointers, etc.  

This is not because I am interested in palmtops, speed or size; but because I am interested in the interoperability of the recommendations and the slow pace at which they proceed.  I am convinced that the extra bagage of the entire XML feature set is at the heart of the problem.

I am also disapointed with the open debate here.  Can't a few good people sit down and work on this.  I don't think the the benefits of SML will be appearent until people can see how (or if) it simplifies subsequent  recommendations.  It will also continue to sound like "taking a step backwards" until the SML design catches up with current XML and people can debate a current topic like schemas.  I think there would be a lot of interest if it made schemas a lot simpler.  Until then, I am inclined to "tune -out" this debate.

Finally, until at least some preliminary work is done on DOM, Namespaces, XSL, queries, etc. it will be hard to know what features were really not worth their cost.  For example, I suspect (but I don't know for sure) that "simplifying the character set" will do nothing to simplify anything but parsers (in which case I am not interested), while the savings for choosing not to use attributes may be enourmous (admittedly guessing).

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