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  • From: Peter Flynn <peter@silmaril.ie>
  • To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
  • Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2017 22:32:09 +0000

On 03/23/2017 02:34 PM, Steve Newcomb wrote:
> On 03/22/2017 07:54 PM, Peter Flynn wrote:
>> Given that hardly any automotive documentation is in XML (or even SGML)
>> any more ("too hard"), it's probably moot for this group, unless we want
>> to start a user-supported tractor-documentation project:-
> I would argue, smilingly, that Peter's "too hard" observation is
> on-topic.  

This has happened in another well-known field too: LaTeX (see

Like LaTeX, XML is not "difficult", it's just "different", both from
wordprocessors and from conventional programming languages.

Writers wouldn't like it because of the many reasons I have gone into
before; programmers hate it because it's not _per se_ a programming

> If the XML community doesn't choose to respond to change, or even
> acknowledge it, it is moribund.  Adapt or die.

It will eventually be superseded by something else. In the meantime it
is receding into the wainscoting as it should: invisible to anyone
except ourselves, but sitting there doing its job.

> P.S.: SGML was "too hard", too.  The transformation into XML involved
> shedding features that, in retrospect, were solutions to problems that
> had once been considered compelling.

Unfortunately, once editors had been written to enable one-click (well,
maybe two-click) markup insertion and other markup manipulation, the job
was considered done. There is ample scope for editors which do a better
job for actually authoring in XML, especially for non-XML-expert
authors, but publishers are largely uninterested in this route, having
been bitten too many times in the past.


  • Follow-Ups:
    • Re:
      • From: Rick Jelliffe <rjelliffe@allette.com.au>
    • Re:
      • From: u123724 <u123724@gmail.com>

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