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Re: [xml-dev] Doing less is all a matter of perspective was Re:[xml-dev] IDs considered harmful

From: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@--------.--->
To: Jonathan Borden <jborden@--------.--->
Date: 11/13/2001 2:14:00 PM
On Tue, 2001-11-13 at 08:51, Jonathan Borden wrote:
> This is of course the crux of the issue: Does _doing less_ mean making do
> with what we have and minimizing the need for new specifications that
> duplicate current capabilities, or does _doing less_ mean throwing out parts
> of XML 1.0 that are not frequently used and redesigning XML to be better. My
> concern is that the attempt to redesign XML (e.g. XML 2.0) will be worse not
> better. I am willing to be convinced otherwise.

At this point I'm not sure I care very much where XML per se heads. I
think it's been clear for a long while that XML's future has little to
do with the original philosophy of XML 1.0.  What began as a prudent
simplification has long since been hijacked and turned into yet another
exercise in complexity.  About all that seems to remain is some small
chance of reading data by hand as it goes across the wire.

So I'm perfectly happy to throw away the parts of XML 1.0 that seemed
extraneous from the outset, keeping only a basic notion of labeled
structured content. I'll call that 'markup' until I find a better term,
and (perhaps) politely ignore efforts that demand using more than that.

Going back to those basics seems more likely to me to keep XML from
exploding into lunatic complexity than does continued endorsement of
various tree-decorating schemes.  That these decorations have no
canonical representation in instance form - no, I don't count the
internal subset for that - is yet another cause for concern.

> I agree that we should get on with doing more, but that means building upon
> what we have -- creating a pyramid that uses what we have as a foundation,
> rather than adding more and more on top while we chip away at the base --
> that would be an upside down pyramid.

The pyramid's been upside down for years now.  Compare pretty much any
spec built on XML 1.0 to XML 1.0.  (Namespaces in XML is an exception,
but I'll refrain from calling it a good one given the years of circular
discussion it's produced.)

Simon St.Laurent
"Every day, in every way, I'm getting better and better." - Emile Coue


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