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Re: A28: syntax of markup declarations?



> Date: Mon, 07 Oct 1996 15:43:34 -0400
> From: Paul Prescod <papresco@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca>
> 
> Both Tim and Charles have good points, but I side with Charles, because I
> have never seen XML as an SGML-like-language, or an SGML-competitor, but as
> an SGML subset.

Hear, hear.  If XML competes with SGML, it's clearly a disaster for
both of them.  If SGML tools can be used to process XML, both are
winners.  

I find Charles's list of arguments on this point unassailable; no need
to repeat them here.  I can only add that, personally, I look at this
as a professional issue.  As information management professionals, I
can't see any way we can recommend XML to our clients unless their
information assets -- and our clients themselves -- are already in the
realm of SGML:

(1) should they later discover needs which XML cannot meet and which
    SGML can, and

(2) because it is so important to be in the mainstream of information
    representation as defined by international standards:

    (a) for the sake of our clients, for the ultimate protection of
        their information assets from the fallout of wars between
        commercial interests,

    (b) for the sake of ourselves, so that our professional asses are
        covered and so we are maximally protected against lawsuits
        from erstwhile clients, and

    (c) not least because it's the right thing to do for humanity and
        world peace and prosperity, other things being equal, to show
        respect for international accords, and to try to live with
        them.

I realize that the last item, 2c, is the kind of statement that is
unpersuasive and even annoyingly irrelevant to younger engineers.  I
direct their attention to the technical and economic arguments in
favor of XML being a proper subset of SGML (as amended), and in favor
of positioning XML in such a way as to influence the amendment of
SGML; these arguments are certainly persuasive enough.

Best regards,

--Steve

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