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Re: Last try (really comments on recent ERB decisions)

From: Paul Prescod <papresco@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca>
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 12:07:02 -0500
Message-Id: <1.5.4.32.19961115170702.008e04c4@csclub.uwaterloo.ca>
To: dgd@cs.bu.edu (David G. Durand), W3C SGML Working Group <w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org>
At 11:41 AM 11/15/96 -0500, David G. Durand wrote:
>
>   It's been undone. However, we have now got the wrong decision and for
>craven political reasons. We have endorsed a known design flaw, that WG8
>already intends to remove, solely to avoid disturbing people by the timing
>of our announcement. 

We try to stay within SGML for the same reason that people try to obey laws,
because we want others to. Most people agree that there are sometimes good
reasons for ignoring standards, and for breaking laws, but it generally
takes a Really Good Reason.

But standards, like laws, are not set in stone. When our "SGML Constitution"
is amended, we will have more latitude to correct this flaw without seeming
to disregard the importance of standards. Ignoring SGML in XML would send
out a message about what we *really* think of standards, and would weaken
our moral authority. It's like when a cop speeds past you at double the
speed limit and turns into a donut shop.

I strongly suspect that all *validating* XML parsers are going to be based
on SGML parsers in the short term anyhow, so this restriction would still
have been in force, in practice. Between you and me, if you don't intend to
use these validating XML parsers, then you can have as many overlapping
attribute values in your instances as you like. Netscape and IE are
certainly not going to report an error!

 Paul Prescod


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Received on Friday, 15 November 1996 12:12:13 EST

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