Re: Why do we write standards?
From: Joshua E. Smith <jesmith@k...> > (If W3C required just one working implementation it would be >a quantum improvement of the process. It's a great way to fight the >natural tendency for bloat.) Which is why the enabling framework for "standards" is more important than the standards: TCP/IP is more important than HTTP, MIME types are more important than HTML or XML, the maligned stylesheet PI is more important than CSS or XSL, why namespace URIs are (potentially) more important than schemas, etc. At every lower level, there needs to be mechanisms in place to allow plurality and experimentation at the next-higher level. If we look at XML, we can see a couple of places where this mechanism is missing, and it will bite us: * We now have four kinds of XML: WF, Canonicalized, Valid with DTD, XML with namspaces: actually, since they are not mutually exclusive, maybe that gives us 8 kinds of XML. But there is no standardized way for a document to announce which of these forms it is (I suppose the standalone declaration does something like this). The early drafts of the Schema spec introduced "nearly well-formed", and the SML idea introduces another variant. * It has seemed like there will be no standardized way to invoke schemas other than DTDs or (future) XML schemas. Without such a thing, there is little way for experimental implementations or even for the market to decide between alternatives. Plurality is not bad for us: even in the area of schemas. There are some people for whom standardization means homogenization: in each area, we should only have one technology. There are others for whom standardization means that there should be at least one high-quality choice. I subscribe to the latter, and to the view that "enabling" standards are more important than "constraining" standards. The W3C should set a policy that for every new domain they work in, in good time before the release of a specification, enabling mechanisms which allow plurality. Rick Jelliffe xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev@i... Archived as: http://www.lists.ic.ac.uk/hypermail/xml-dev/ and on CD-ROM/ISBN 981-02-3594-1 To unsubscribe, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; unsubscribe xml-dev To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; subscribe xml-dev-digest List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa@i...)
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