Re: Acceptance of XML

Bill Smith wrote:
> Len Bullard wrote:
> > This is eminently sensible.  But that can be viewed as
> > "We already have HTML, why do we need this?".  I don't wish to be
> > tendentious, but XML is not the natural evolution of HTML.  HTML is
> > in a species of DTDs which some of us have created prior to HTML.
> Not everyone does need it, just like not everyone needs tables, or applets, or frames. What
> many people do need is an extensible tag set. They don't recognize this per se but they do
> recognize that HTML is too restrictive for their application. In due course, the "HTML
> community" will respond to this need by allowing arbitrary structure and semantic
> information. Some are not so far from this already and I suspect that the response will be
> sooner rather than later.
> If an initial XML is in place early enough and isn't overly complex, it could be used by
> the HTML community rather than their reinventing the wheel. This is hardly guaranteed but
> we gain little by ignoring that community. Let's not repeat our mistake with HTTP.
> Perhaps a small point but I believe that I said "allow the Web community to view XML as the
> natural evolution of HTML". I wouldn't mind if HTML became extinct through natural
> selection. However, it would be unfortunate if HTML can evolve fast enough to make XML
> unimportant.

No disagreement.  I do believe HTML will live on regardless of what is 
designed here.  There is too much code supporting it.  On this, I side 
with Dr. Goldfarb.  They won't walk away from a tactical advantage.
So, someone has to get to higher ground.  Since this group contains 
people influential in the development of HTML, there is nothing that 
can be devised here that cannot be renamed, redone, and readied for HTML 
with or without acknowledgement.

I don't suggest the user base is unimportant.  The habits of HTML are 
very much the habits of SGML authors in most cases.  So, trying to 
prevent "Shocking the Monkey" goes for all of them.  HTML is just one 
more example of "keep it familiar".  I agree with James Clark;  there
are lots of HTML browsers out there already.  Can we please get over it?

Fear kills the mind.  Lack of it sometimes kills the body.  One way 
or another, someone isn't going to be happy.  So far, of all of the
suggestions I have seen and from my limited understanding, James seems 
to have the best one.

len bullard