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Re: SV: Tim Bray on "Which Technologies Matter?"

java niche
Hi Daniel

Daniel said:
>   Did I said anything contradicting this ? Yes, they exist. No, they
> usable for on the fly formatting.
>   Basically it's either Jade or OpenJade. What color do you want your Ford

Didier replies:
First, I agree with you, the XML world lead to more diversity especially for
parsers and XSLT engines. I do not count rendering languages in the
equation. Secondly, let's correct something: Jade and Openjade are not the
same thing. OpenJade is alive and receives the support of the Linux
community. Openjade 1.14 was recently released and now on the process for an
1.15. New features are added. The DSSSL community is making requests, the
developer community is growing and implementing these requests. Several
parts are being re-written and optimized. Moreover, an Apache version is a
work in progress. So we are not talking about two Fords here except that
they are based on the same specifications. We can say the same thing of XSLT
anyway. But we should probably invertiguate why XSLT and XML parsers got
more implementations.

What we are talking here is diversity. Yes at first XML parsers where more
numerous. Several factors to consider:
a) the first parser implementers did their class in the SGML world and could
come out rapidly with a parser. For them nothing new under the sun, only
that this SGML for the Web or XML was a lot simpler to implement. They
adopted the "less is more" philosophy. Also, the design of XML lead to
simple implementations. However, as we all know, few are well supporting the
full XML 1.0 specifications.

b) we got more implementations because the web was booming, a more
particularly we had a new platform to build our implementations on: Java.
The Java wave and its new ecosystem brought a lot of new development for
about anything and a lot of enthusiasm. Developers got some hope out the the
stalag created by Microsoft and its ecosystem dominated by a single selfish

Now the real question is: will this remain the same? My take is that NO. As
always, the monopoly game and the market has a favor for one to three
champions. Or, a someone buys all the land in the monopoly game and you have
to pay the rent. In that case, on the long run, only one tool is still
alive. So, how many parsers will be alive, free and maintained on the long
run? How many XSLT engine?

My take for XML parsers and XSLT engines:
a) part of the Java platform
b) part of the Microsoft platform
c) part of the Apache platform
d) maybe part of Mozilla if this latter can be released one day (not as a
Netscape version but as its own entity).

Outside of that.... tools can only resist in niche markets.

Didier PH Martin


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