why distinctions within XHTML?

roddey at us.ibm.com roddey at us.ibm.com
Wed Sep 8 01:03:15 BST 1999

>I agree with Dave.  The more I look, the more I am convinced that
>the W3C is not the right standards body to deal with XML, which is being
>employed in many arenas that have absolutely nothing to do with the web.  In
>fact, if/when the true potential of XML is realized, the web will be a minor
>player in that.  SGML is/was not the native language of the web.  HTML was
>derived for that purpose.  XML is/has the potential to be used for much more
>then internet publishing of information.  The web has benefited from many
>technological contributions, many of which predate the web by a couple of
>decades, and most of the technology that goes into it is not at all web
>specific (connection oriented stream TCP communications, MIME,
>request/response, etc.).  To think that XML is a web-only or even a
>web-mostly language is to miss the boat so far as to not even notice the

An obvious question to ask though is that, once XML has been stretched to deal
with all these other issues, will it be a reasonable mechanism to use on the
web, which will still need such a mechanism. Part of the problem with XML, IMHO,
is that too many people want it to do too many things and the simplicity that
made it attractive is going fast. If it were explicitly turned into a 'its not
just for breakfast anymore' kind of standard, I think that its usefulness in the
web and its simplicity would just get smothered that much faster.

I think its fine for anyone to use it who needs to. But, there has to be some
focus as to what its intended applications are and things shouldn't be done to
it that make it difficult to use in those intended applications.

Just my opinion of course...

Dean Roddey
Software Weenie
IBM Center for Java Technology - Silicon Valley
roddey at us.ibm.com

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