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Re: equivalent power in SGML and XML



Martin Bryan wrote:
> 
> At 05:17 AM 17/9/96 +0100, Bill Lindsey wrote:
> 
> >Is it a design goal to ensure that some percentage of today's
> >SGML documents are "grandfathered" in, or is it enough that the
> >EE-ESIS translation is available?  If it is the former case,
> >how do we decide which class(es) of documents shall be supported?
> 
> The set of documents I would like to see "grandfathered in" is that set
> defined in (valid) HTML. If an XML browser cannot read that set of raw HTML
> documents that are valid according to the 2.0 DTD (or later versions) then
> it will not be of much practical use, and will be ignored by the majority of
> potential users. (We would still have the problem of the 60% of invalid
> documents, but hopefully this situation will get better once standard WP
> tools start offering automatic conversion to HTML.)

Respectfully, Martin, I disagree.  We would already be starting to
determine XML's design by constituency.  If we start that, then 
I have to point to the enormous amount of material in the CALS and 
AECMA worlds which also has a substantial investment, and might 
even be said to be *more valuable* information.  I wish to avoid 
that kind of argument here but I would have to make it.

Don't grandfather documents.  Look strictly at features right now 
and the technical problems for capabilities.  I too wish to field
existing
information without the need to do expensive conversions, but I 
accept the necessity of minor ones if for no other reason than 
a lot of the legacy is overbuilt and uses overdesigned DTDs.

But to make XML contingent on grandfathering what is in many many cases,
poor SGML (try to build a tag scanner for the legacy out there and keep
it 
current) instances is not a good design criterion, IMHO.  They will not 
accept the *valid HTML* argument and will insist that all of their 
invalid HTML should also work.  This looks to me like a bad situation  
to even attempt to rectify.  Let HTML and other existing DTDs take care 
of making the transition to XML.  Make XML an attractive target because
it does NOT have the foibles of these apps.

len bullard
lockheed martin


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