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RE: Where have the element types gone?

principles of intelligent design

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Eric van der Vlist [mailto:vdv@d...]
> Sent: Friday, December 07, 2001 9:47 AM
> To: xml-dev@l...
> Subject:  Where have the element types gone?
> Looks like we are closing the loop and that we could have 
> save a lot of  effort by having kept SGML!

Or perhaps the W3C is rapidly re-making the mistakes of ISO, and
in a few years someone will come along and do unto XML what XML 
did unto SGML <grin>

If the "software evolution not intelligent design" argument (see my post a
of a couple days ago) is correct, this is inevitable, and -- from the point
of view of the "meme pool" rather than specific SGML or XML "memes" --

What frustrates me is that the well-understood principles of "intelligent
design" are the same as those that contribute to evolutionary survival --
simplicity, modularity, re-usability, etc.  Conversely, if it's hard to
understand, it will be hard to build; if it's hard to build, it will break;
if it breaks, it won't survive.  SGML, for all the great ideas buried in
there somewhere, lived and died (OK, it failed to thrive, don't flame me!)
on a very common and predictable trajectory. 

Rather than saving effort by keeping SGML warts and all, better to learn the
lessons of SGML's life and find the powerful and stable ideas at the core of
SGML and XML, and bet on those newer ideas that are simple enough to
understand and implement in a modular, re-usable manner.  



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