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Re: RE: James Clark: XML versus the Web

  • From: Stephen Williams <sdw@lig.net>
  • To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
  • Date: Fri, 03 Dec 2010 14:01:40 -0800

Re:  RE: James Clark: XML versus the Web
I agree that a simplified XML would be very nice (DTDs are an anachronism as far as I'm concerned).  Furthermore, I would suggest 
cleaning up, simplifying, and improving XML APIs.  Because of lack of reasonable libraries and performance issues on Android: I 
recently wrote a DOM-like API that was specifically targeted to having the simplest possible Java API while being very powerful and 
efficient.  This included the bare minimum XPath support and an important added feature of being able to easily get fully parseable 
XML (with namespace declarations) for any XML node.  I wrote my own SAX parser in a day to support it.  The whole thing, 
XML/mini-XPath/SAX, is about 1000 lines of portable Java code.  (Yes, I'll open source it as soon as I have permission from this 

Perhaps it is helpful to think of "application" XML vs. PDF / Word-like document XML.  There are many things that occur in the 
latter that make no sense in the former.  This came up repeatedly in the W3C EXI (and earlier XBC) working groups.


On 12/3/10 1:13 PM, BillClare3@aol.com wrote:
>     And perhaps some further movement forward.
>     To this relatively inexperienced viewer, this seems like going back to 2002 is an interesting way to get started, if the goal 
> is a short specification.
>     However, it seems that fundamentally XML is a specification language, for a lot more than markup, and that many of the basic 
> extensions over the last decade have made it, extremely powerful in dealing with data for many purposes.The issue is that these 
> extensions are complex and inconsistent.
>     It seems that the basis for some of the problems are with the current language itself,but many are with the additional 
> standards and especially howtheyinteract.Many of these problems with the additional standards, though, stem, not from themselves, 
> but from deficiencies in the basic language capabilities.
>     It would appear then, as noted in other posts on this topic, that the starting point should be on a set of fundamental 
> language extensions, such as those that deal with data types, expressions and probably most importantly - modularization to 
> simplify and standardize interactions among related specifications. Development would proceed based with a clear focus on what is 
> fundamental to the language, what is needed for application models, such as presentation, and what is needed for compatibility.
>   Syntax simplification would provide a sugar coating to encourage implementation and adaptation.
>   As James Clark put it in his original post on this thread “the challenge is how to /. . . /create technologies *. . . *that 
> bring to the broader Web developer community some of the good aspects of the modern XML development experience”.It would seem 
> that, for the long term, this must require a considerable rebuilding based on architectural fundamentals, rather than just 
> updating.And this indeed seems much larger, and certainly more comprehensive, than the transition from SGML to XML.
> **
> **
> *In a message dated 12/3/2010 4:35:32 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, davep@dpawson.co.uk writes:*
>     *Moving this on somewhat.
>     Part II, Looking forward
>     Background:
>     From James blog.
>     JC "Now you could actually quite easily take XML 1.0, ditch DTDs, add
>     XML Namespaces, xml:id, xml:base and XML Infoset and end up with a
>     reasonably short (although more than 10 pages), coherent spec. (I think
>     Tim Bray even did a draft of something like this once.) But in 10 years
>     the W3C and its membership has not cared enough about simplicity and
>     coherence to take any action on this."
>     Taking Tims baseline [1], does it meet the ideas of James proposal?
>     There is a good overlap, though eight years old. It is based on XML 1.0
>     Second edition, would you update it to fifth edition (with simplicity
>     in mind).
>     What shortfalls are there? Where is it too document centric? Could it
>     be simplified?
>     A fair metric. Could this be explained as per
>     http://markmail.org/message/nctnjvj4kaxtnkdb problem?
>     * References
>     I think this is Tims starter.
>     [1]http://www.textuality.com/xml/xmlSW.html
>     Sam Ruby collected some ideas
>     [2]http://www.intertwingly.net/blog/2007/01/26/XML-2-0
>     Are there any more?
>     [3] http://www.w3.org/TR/xml-infoset/
>     [4] http://www.w3.org/TR/xml-id/
>     [5] http://www.w3.org/TR/xmlbase/
>     [6] http://www.w3.org/TR/xml-names/   namespace rec
>     -- 
>     regards
>     -- 
>     Dave Pawson
>     http://www.dpawson.co.uk
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