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Re: XML Blueberry Requirements

From: Elliotte Rusty Harold <elharo@metalab.unc.edu>
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 09:40:22 -0400
Message-Id: <p04330103b757a942b11a@[]>
To: unicode@unicode.org, unicore@unicode.org, www-international@w3.org
At 9:35 PM +0100 6/20/01, Misha.Wolf@reuters.com wrote:

>| In addition, XML 1.0 attempts to adapt to the line-end conventions of
>| various modern operating systems, but discriminates against the
>| convention used on IBM and IBM-compatible mainframes. XML 1.0 documents
>| generated on mainframes must either violate the local line-end
>| conventions, or employ otherwise unnecessary translation phases before
>| and after XML parsing and generation.

The concern with respect to IBM is that one of the world's largest
corporations, with thousands of patents, legions of programmers,
billions of dollars in revenue, and resources pouring out of every
orifice is somehow unable to handle documents where lines end with
carriage returns and line feeds, as documents do on every non-IBM system on
the planet.

The only reason there's a problem here at all is because IBM
tried to go it alone as a monopoly and set standards by fiat for years
rather than working with the rest of the industry. Consequently their
mainframe character sets don't really interoperate well with everybody
else's character sets. In XML this arises as a problem with line endings
when someone edits an XML document with an IBM mainframe text editor.

IBM mostly grew out of their anti-competitive monopolistic tendencies
over the last thirty years (with a large dose of assistance from the
U.S. government). However, there are still some legacy issues relating
to their attempt to dictate standards to the rest of the industry, and
this is one of them. Now rather than fixing their own broken mainframe
text editing software, they want everyone else on the planet to change
their software so IBM doesn't have to. (If this reminds anybody of the
current mess with Oracle and UTF-8, you're not alone.)

This proposal was laughed out of the W3C a few months ago when IBM 
made it, or at least it seemed to be. However, it's now risen from 
the dead as part of XML
Blueberry; but it doesn't make any more sense now than it did then; and
it still deserves to be laughed off the table with whooping cries of

| Elliotte Rusty Harold | elharo@metalab.unc.edu | Writer/Programmer |
|                  The XML Bible (IDG Books, 1999)                   |
|              http://metalab.unc.edu/xml/books/bible/               |
|   http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0764532367/cafeaulaitA/   |
|  Read Cafe au Lait for Java News:  http://metalab.unc.edu/javafaq/ |
|  Read Cafe con Leche for XML News: http://metalab.unc.edu/xml/     |
Received on Thursday, 21 June 2001 09:48:33 UTC

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