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Re: "Chunk of XML" - Canonicalization and equality

From: Simon St.Laurent <simonstl@simonstl.com>
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 11:50:42 -0500
To: www-tag@w3.org
Message-ID: <r02000200-1028-A062D19E45E811D8AD220003937A08C2@[]>

Tim Berners-Lee writes:
>The XML architecture has tended to be built according to a motto that 
>all kinds of things are possible, and the application has to be able to 
>chose the features it needs.  This is fine when there are simply the 
>XML toolset and a single "application".  However, real life is more 
>complicated, and things are connected together in all kinds of ways.  I 
>think the XML design needs to be more constraining: to offer a 
>consistent idea of what a chunk of XML is across all the designs, so 
>that the value of that chunk can be preserved as invariant across a 
>complex system.

I think this may be a cultural problem that you see reflected as a
series of technical problems.  It's probably best settled through a
large-scale change rather than yet more corrigenda.

If you want this kind of functionality, this degree of constraint, it
may be time to stop retrofitting XML with more constraints and build
something else designed to handle the kinds of circumstances you
envision here.

XML added constraints and removed flexibility from SGML.  I'm not
convinced that adding more constraints to XML will achieve the kinds of
things you seek, especially given that your list of serialization issues
is composed primarily of features added to XML, rather than components
of the SGML base.

Start clean, come up with something that addresses these issues directly
rather than through bolted-on layers of rules, and maybe TAG traffic
will be able to focus on web architecture rather than complex markup

Simon St.Laurent
Ring around the content, a pocket full of brackets
Errors, errors, all fall down!
http://simonstl.com -- http://monasticxml.org
Received on Tuesday, 13 January 2004 11:50:51 UTC

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