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Re: Will XML go beyond SGML Users?

From: Paul Prescod <papresco@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca>
Date: Tue, 1 Oct 1996 19:48:24 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <199610012348.TAA29922@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca>
To: Charles@SGMLsource.com
Cc: ralph@fsc.fujitsu.com, w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
> But even if Microsoft wanted some "SGML-like" thing, they would just create
> their own, add it to their software, and it would be a standard. They are on
> this committee to monitor it and learn from it, not to adopt its results. This
> doesn't make them bad people -- just smart businessmen. We should be equally
> smart and define realistic objectives for ourselves.

I'm not claiming that microsoft WILL adopt our results. I am saying that 
at in the past, they HAVE adopted standards when it was expedient to do so.
Recent examples are HTML and TCP/IP. Older ones are ASCII, Basic, C++, SQL.

We shouldn't design XML presuming that it will be the universal document
format of the future, but we shouldn't make the HTML mistake of presuming
that it will NOT be.

A "universal format" cannot require every "object transmission" to refer to
a DTD that may or may not exist. Just as in SGML, sometimes the DTD will
be implicit. Just as with HTML, sometimes that laxness will allow people to
shoot themselves in the foot. Oh, well.

> There is no such thing as a "native" file format for a browser unless it is
> badly written. The URL chaser is just like an SGML entity manager. HTML, today,
> is just the notation of the document entity. It doesn't have to remain so in the
> future and probably won't.

Unfortunately, browsers _are_ poorly written. That's why I hope that XML 
support is "native." I don't know much about Active-X, but OLE has some 
MAJOR PROBLEMS that confound theoretical expectations.

 Paul Prescod
Received on Tuesday, 1 October 1996 20:49:13 UTC

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