Which Choices Matter? (WAS RE: SV: Tim Bray on "Which Technol
Moving this to a different plane, I say the choice of means of choosing matters. What happens if there is only one choice? Consider that the momentum choice (the means of choosing) has chosen Internet Explorer. Ok. What about the choice of application language? IE isn't a conforming XML application language system, is it? Well, can we tell quickly? Sure. Give it a table with all of the </tr>s and only one <tr> in the first row. Keep all the rows balanced for <td></td>. What does it do? It looks perfect. What happened? IAW the choice "to be liberal in what it accepts", it fixed it for you. What is the problem here? The Draconian Parse: XML's one inviolate rule for XML processors. BTW, it took <a name= > without a gripe too. The only reason the person who found this did is because it didn't like a basefont statement that was well-formed but unimplemented. Even then, it only showed up because she tried the Print Preview and serendipity got the hindmost. OTW, it was on its way to the loading dock. Say, OK, but given a DTD and a validator I can find that. Sure, but do you have one and did you? What if a generator is being used to produce that and the only quality step was inspection in the rendering media engine? Some designers really trust their code and discount the rest of the XML systems above the level of syntax. Different choices matter. That is the problem of the 80/20 decision. Without hindsight, it is rather easy to make a bad choice of means and watch the other choices cascade until serendipity or disaster strike. XML sits squarely on top of SGML as a subset, and HTML and SGML for hindsight. Good choices, I'd say. len
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