Re: 2.1 a-d: Link Recognition by Reserved Attribute?
Michael Sperberg-McQueen wrote:
> If you mean we have an obligation to our community to make the XML spec
> incomprehensible and impenetrable, I respectfully and forcefully demur.
Turning down the torch....
The issue is normative and informative references. What I am asking
for is normative reference where material is "taken over" from
authoritative sources. Not intellectual borrowing, but real
are needed. Let's not debate the authority of IETF vs ISO: both
have communities of interest and authoritative status. IETF has
a more limited scope than ISO. ISO has a larger scope, but a
diminished focus. But what we are doing here is not YetAnotherRFC.
1. subsetting an decade old international standard
2. getting the benefits of the work that went into that standard
3. establishing precedent for work among the different and
separately legitimized groups of individuals who make up
the working groups of these organizations.
The first issue has been considered. XML is a proper subset of
SGML. Further, if the WG8 TC occurs, both XML and SGML and
their substantially overlapping if not identical communities
of users will benefit. The second issue is trickier. The
problem of XML development as a separate language is the
danger that incompatibilities will be introduced. The
W3C has had little success controlling the actions of its
members with regards to using W3C standards in this way.
The XML editors and the working group have an obligation
to protect ISO 8879 and any other standard which they
"borrow from" or "take over". Normative references can
do much to stop a corroding of both works later in their
development by ensuring that the authoritative reference is
given proper attribution. IOW, they might still screw with
XML, but if they do, SGML testing is available to determine
If one has to READ ISO 8879 or ISO 10744 to implement XML,
then you are right, the spec needs clarification. But I
have full confidence in the editors of XML that this situation
will not occur.
As for issue three, if this effort fails to respect all
contributing parties, then it will do more to tear down
any chance for such cooperation in the future. I may
be mad (keep an open mind..), but I still understand
that where I borrow, I have the responsibility to protect
and return unharmed.
XML may succeed, but it can also do, or be used to do,
tremendous damage to a decade of work, the community that
did the work, and one of the most successful standards
in the world. The last I say with confidence because
that is what all of us here have in common.