W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org > October 1996

Re: Acceptance of XML

From: Bill Smith <bill.smith@Eng.Sun.COM>
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 1996 11:02:20 -0700 (PDT)
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <libSDtMail.9610021102.28857.bsmith@providence>
Len Bullard wrote:

> I'm not precisely disagreeing with you.  However, HTML is not the only 
> contender for position in the Internet community.  Other languages,
> forms 
> of markup, are also being developed and deployed. (snip)

Agreed. XML will need to coexist and compete in this changing arena. By adopting an 
incremental approach, XML appears responsive and up to date. A static standard will be 
viewed as out-of-date and uninteresting.

> There will be more.  HTML is, simply, the 
> one most of us use daily and are familiar with.  While making life 
> better for the HTML user is a worthy goal, adopting a streamlined 
> version of SGML does not depend on making a super-HTML.  That 
> this may be the result, will be worthwhile.  But there are 
> other markets some extant, some to become, that will also benefit 
> from this work, so, what I believe we should have as our goal, is 
> the best product we can create for the environment, the Internet, 
> now and and becoming, not the fix for HTML.

I'm not suggesting a super-HTML from a technical perspective. Acceptance of XML will depend 
on it's technical merits, ease of implementation, ease of use, and positioning with respect 
to other "offerings" - notably HTML. Allow the Web community to view XML as the natural 
evolution of HTML and it will be accpeted - provided it isn't too difficult to explain or 

By taking an incremental approach to deploying an XML standard, we get the immediate 
benefit of positioning it as the natural evolution of HTML. We should not ignore other 
markets or applications but we should carefully weigh inclusion of SGML features lest we 
shift XML's perceived center of gravity too far from HTML. Over time, the shift can and 
will occur but we should allow XML to evolve just as HTML, HTTP, and other Web standards 

Received on Wednesday, 2 October 1996 14:03:32 UTC

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