A call for reason, another go [SML et al]
Gavin Thomas Nicol
gtn at ebt.com
Tue Nov 30 22:21:36 GMT 1999
> Frankly, I am somewhat dismayed by the lack of vision and
> paranoia over the supposedly endangered future of XML. Has
> it ever occurred to anyone that messages asking me and others
> to stop working on SML is just plain weird? Is XML-DEV turning
> into a political organization in charge of protecting XML from
> mutants and anything that dares to use angled brackets? I am
> rather alarmed by all this. Is XML so vulnerable that even all
> the media hype over XML is still not enough? Where is Darwin
> in all this?
The sentiment is correct here. My concern is not about XML's
survival, so much as about the necessity, or lack thereof
of a new syntax.
My gut feeling tells me that in the end, people will, over time,
tend to use XML in certain application domains in certain ways.
In the XML-for-data world, nobody will use external entities, or
internal subsets... and so, by application convention, they will
produce their own subset. That's fine by me (let a thousand
application subsets bloom).
At some point in time, they may even decide that it's really
necessary to codify the subset as a standard in and of itself.
That's fine by me too (it happened a few times in the SGML
That said, I think it's still early days: far too early to be
formally defining a subset for general use. I take the
disagreement on this mailing list to be a sure sign of that.
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