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Re: Failed XML standards

  • From: Peter Hunsberger <peter.hunsberger@gmail.com>
  • To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
  • Date: Mon, 16 Nov 2009 09:49:46 -0600

Re:  Failed XML standards
On Sun, Nov 15, 2009 at 11:48 PM, Rick Jelliffe
<rjelliffe@allette.com.au> wrote:
> Elliotte Rusty Harold wrote:
> Let me put it like this: one of the original goals of XML was "The number of
> optional features in XML is to be kept to the absolute minimum, ideally
> zero." This was because the highly parameterized approach that SGML took was
> not appropriate, for various reasons: one of which was that if there were
> optional features, you could not be guaranteed that the recipient could
> handle your document.
> And so what happened after that?  A stream of piddly little standards for
> optional things: XBase, XInclude, xml:id.  And what is the result? It is
> impractical to rely on them: or, at least, they don't relieve the developer
> of any decision making or programming, since the developer has to enable
> them or program for them on a case-by-case basis.
So what's the alternative?  There are lots of things that people
sometimes want to do, but not always.  Having optional standards that
cover these areas is probably a good thing; at least developers can
pick up the standard and run with it (if they so choose) instead of
reinventing things from scratch.  The only thing I would ask is that
they be done in such a way that anyone that doesn't know about them
have things break when they encounter them.  For the most part things
like XInclude can be ignored if you don't care about them?

Peter Hunsberger

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