RE: ConciseXML syntax and compatibility
Aww David, you just had to generalize and now we have to tussle. :-) 1. SGML did not fail. In its day and in its medium, it did quite well and lots of folks made money including you. Its implicit processing model and syntax options were not going to be accepted on a stateless network and given the ubiquity of Unicode. Otherwise, XML is just the bits of SGML needed for that and the parts we all knew worked without a lot of grief or deep markup expertise. SGML was designed for a different time in computer technology development, when memory was expensive, CPUs were weak, 9-track tapes were the exchange medium, and the delimiters reserved by each language varied like women's shoes. In practice, most of the excess features were never used but they had to be there, or the standard was incomplete. The tools were hard to write. Absolutely. 2. I never had a lot of trouble finding markup errors in SGML, but maybe I didn't use the right combination of all of those usually unnecessary features. What are you referring to? XML succeeded based on the experience of the parent language, the ubiquity of HTML plus the perceived and real limits to applying it, and somewhat, the web mania of the time. If we tried the same thing today, we'd never get it to a recommendation. len From: David Megginson [mailto:david@m...] Finally, I don't really see the need -- somebody suggests this kind of thing every few months, and then it just dies quietly. It's also worth noting that SGML allowed extensive syntactic abbreviation, and SGML failed; XML forbade it, and XML succeeded. That's not the only reason that SGML failed, of course, but it was a contributing factor (SGML tools were just too hard to write, and markup errors were often too hard to locate and fix).
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