MSFT is innocent, this time (was Re: an unfilled need)

David Megginson david at
Tue Sep 7 12:34:20 BST 1999

Arjun Ray writes:

 > > 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 would argue that it was in Microsoft et al's *interest* to
 > "close" XML to the wider community.  How else could they exploit
 > standardization as a marketing tool?

I've been a Linux user since 1993 (and a Minix user before that) and
am, in general, a rabid anti-Redmond person, but I'd like to point out
(at the risk of breaching confidentiality) that Microsoft is not
conspiring to keep XML secret, and that when its representatives have
pushed on committees where I've been present, they've generally pushed
for an earlier and simpler public release rather than a later or more
complex one, and have often accepted compromises to help consensus.

Others' mileage may vary, but my experience is that the big companies
need XML to become an open commodity, while the smaller ones sometimes
have more of an interest in obfuscation (because XML is just a side
dish for the big ones but bread-and-butter for the small).

All the best,


David Megginson                 david at

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