Re: Capitalizing on HTML (was Re: equivalent power in SGML and XML)

On Tue, 17 Sep 96 09:10:36 CDT, Robert Streich <streich@slb.com> wrote:

>At 11:56 AM 9/17/96 +0000, James Clark wrote:
>>I don't need to use an XML browser to browse HTML; I've already got
>>plenty of HTML browsers that do that just fine.
>If XML is to be anything more than just a stimulating mental exercise, it
>has to be a relatively easy jump for any HTML author who isn't afraid to use
>HoTMetaL, emacs, etc. to edit HTML. It's difficult enough to get most people
>to make the leap away from display-oriented markup. If we add a lot of
>restrictions or syntax oddities, we could make the jump downright undesirable.
I wasn't aware that converting HTML users was a requirement of XML. I thought
the objective was a lean-and-mean dialect of SGML that would: 

1. reduce the size of web transmissions of SGML documents 

2. serve as a better electronic delivery target for SGML processors than HTML
currently is

3. be easier to implement tools for because:
a) only one (or a few) character sets are supported
b) the instance can be parsed (but not validated) without reference to a  DTD
c) attributes can be validated, parsed, and defaulted without reference to a
_full_ DTD
d)tools for full SGML can easily generate and accept XML without loss of EE-ESIS

It would certainly be wonderful if XML won a host of HTML users to SGML, but
that is a fringe benefit. Our real growth opportunity is winning more users to
SGML because of the existence of XML. If we start confusing the requirements we
run the risk of not satisfying any of them (as others have pointed out before on
this list).
Charles F. Goldfarb * Information Management Consulting * +1(408)867-5553
           13075 Paramount Drive * Saratoga CA 95070 * USA
  International Standards Editor * ISO 8879 SGML * ISO/IEC 10744 HyTime
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