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Re: Refactoring XML ? was Re: What is an XMLDocument

3/8/2002 7:36:46 AM, Daniel Veillard <veillard@r...> wrote:

>  It is a common practise too (and I would not say
>that DocBook XML is a small niche technology, I see it used more and more).
>So it really depends in which context you practize XML-1.0, hence my point
>one will still have to provide this functionality of 1.0 in the future...
>  A refactoring which would not provide the needs for a significant subset
>of the current user base would just end up as a fragmentation

Good points about the prevalence of DocBook and the "refactorization
ends up as fragmentation."  Clearly a refactorization -- if it happens --
will be painful for loyal XML early adopters.  But let's think about what
it would actually mean if XML 2.0 deprecated external entities.  It wouldn't
cause anyone to throw away that support in their parsers, just to do
something intelligent with the XML version number.  It wouldn't break
existing documents or code, just signal that in the long run they should either
find a new way of building compound documents (with XLink, XInclude, XSLT,
a content management system, or whatever), or align themselves with SGML
(if they really really like external entities as currently practiced).  

More importantly, it will lower the barriers to entry for NEW XML users.  
The "XML Revolution" is not won.  In a couple of years the marketing people
will be looking for the next Next Big Thing, the developers who had trusted
the IDEs and wizards to hide XML weirdness from them will be debugging systems
that broke when someone tried to deliver DocBook documents via SOAP (and
screaming for blood) , and"disruptive innovators" will be offering 
"like XML ... only better" or "actually delivers what XML promised" alternatives.
I'd say that the XML community should be anticipating, and trying to head
off, this situation today rather than when it becomes a crisis. 


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