XML belongs to itself. (Re: an unfilled need)
paul at qub.com
Tue Sep 7 09:06:13 BST 1999
> >On Mon, 6 Sep 1999, Matthew Gertner wrote:
> >> No one objected to the W3C controlling XML at the onset because it was
> >> far from a foregone conclusion that XML was win over a number of
> >> plausible (but in retrospect clearly inferior) approaches. Now XML is
> >> mainstream and this no longer flies.
> > > Lack of complete buyin (not to mention open hostility) from XML
> > >developers is certainly not in the W3C's interest, and only opens the
> > > way for Microsoft and other major players to step in with their own
> > > proprietary (and inevitably less well thought out) approaches.
> I disagree on both counts. Firstly, W3C does not control XML to the
> extent that they can control other syntaxes, because XML is SGML.
I disagree that XML is SGML ( I'l try to explain that XML is
actualy UNIX ;-) but I agree that it is not *that* important
who is 'controling' XML, because from my point of view
XML is 'controling itself' more than any vendor or group
> Secondly, I think that if Microsoft made a successor to XML, it is quite
> possible it could be better than XML is, learning from experience. If
> Microsoft cares to give me a million dollars, I am prepared to develop
> such a thing!
It may be just a bit better ( more likely it would be
'a bit different'). The unbeatable thing about XML is the
concept. You can not invent the better concept .
( OK, maybe you can - I don't know... )
XML is good because it is not a big invention - it's kind of
reproducing well-known (old) UNIX concepts.
If not going into much detail, we could say that the (whole)
concept of UNIX was:
1. Everything is a text, because it's easier to read.
2. Do not build monsters but use pipes and small
nice bulding blocks instead.
The only difference is that XML says:
1. Yes, everything is a text, but we now also have
not only English ( unicode ) and also text should
be a bit better structured than 'a bunch of lines'
( 'bunch of lines' - is just a special case of a more
general - but still trivial - tree structure ).
It is kind of simplification, because UNIX has changed,
there were more concepts in UNIX, 'everything' means
'mostly everything you need in the real life' e t.c. -
I'm writing those 2 axioms because I think that XML
has a success *only* because it follows those plain
concepts of building scalable and open systems
( just making small change to one of the axioms ).
There was no big choice when designing
something to match the changed axiom.
Sure, we'l get ps -ax and ps -ef. I don't think it is
( would be ) a significant problem or significat
improvemet, like most of the problems discussed
in maling lists.
XML is good not because it is well-designed.
Note 1. Maybe it is - it's hard to understand yet, some parts
are much better than others ( many people are using
XT in the real life, but some standarts are not used
at all ).
Note 2. Maybe it is - but the design process is unspecified.
I can only guess what happens in the XSL FO WG, how
do people make analyzis, do they talk to end-users
XML is a good old concept that works for years (UNIX).
Nobody owns the concept. The concept owns itself.
Remember when MS tried to introduce UNIX-killer?
( Now known as 'better UNIX than UNIX" ).
Actualy, MS is now sponsoring perl ( which
is UNIX 'all in one' ) for Windows. Good concept is
hard to 'own' or 'kill' , more likely the concept
will 'own' you ;-)
PS. My apologies for a bit 'abstract' posting -
I now promise to stop flooding this malining list for
a while, but I realy think that XML is very special
case. With XML it is not *very* important who
'owns' the trademark or who is writing standards.
I'm not saying that W3C develops bad standards -
W3C does a great job. Any process could be
improved, of course, but in general - I like the
way it goes and I think that it would be hard to
find more brilliant persons to make a descisions.
Just - please - give a small vendors some way to
vote ( just to provide a reality check ) - and it would be
absolutely perfect ;-).
paul at pault.com www.renderx.com www.pault.com
XMLTube * Perl/JavaConnector * PerlApplicationServer
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