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Message text written by "Michael Champion"
>That is the strength of XML, (if not necessarily  of the related
specs that have come from the W3C).  XML itself was intended (in the words
of Tim Bray at XTech2000 last week) to "come in fast and under the radar,
and be on target before anyone knew about it".<


Several points here :  - 100% agreed that the focus has wandered, and that
all W3C specs are created in the original model - so we should be very 
circumspect about what it is that they are offering up.

Here's what Tim Bray stated as the design goals of XML:

XML shall be straightforwardly usable over the internet
XML shall support a wide variety of applications
XML shall be compatible with SGML
It shall be easy to write programs that process XML documents
The number of optional features is to be kept to an absolute minimum

and semantic goals

XML documents should be human-legible and reasonably clear
XML design should be prepared quickly
XML documents should be easy to create
Terseness in XML markup is of minimal importance

I presume Tim was referring to the second semantic item in the analogy
of 'coming in under the radar'.  Actually on closer inspection
this analogy is instructive!   Coming in under the radar
requires an awful lot of technology, or a lot of balls and flying
by the seat of your pants...

In our case I believe the metrics are different.  The bravado is 
out of scope.  What people are asking for is light weight solutions
that are interoperable, and are business sensible focused.   

Part of the inertia of EDI was that it is boring and expensive!
XML/edi and the ebXML approach certainly therefore need to 
ensure that people can use it intuitively to build interesting solutions

I like the analogy you give of the ship, masts, sails and flags.  A simple
sail boat should be just as compatible, made from the same
materials, use the same techniques, and require a lot less crew to man it!

Notice also you can sail the sailboat to lots of places the ship won't go!

This brings me back to the issues I have with the W3C Schema proposal.
It looks very much like a submarine with a steamengine installed.   The
theorists sound like they've got it right - faster, safer, less prone to
but in reality the business use model does not work - too expensive to
maintain - not all ports are equipped with quays it can tie up to, 
the design was rushed together to meet artifical deadlines (XTech2000 Show)
and requires too specialized a crew.

Hopefully a healthy sanity check now ensues where business focused details
that the eDTD work sets out are placed square and center. 

( http://www.bizcodes.org/eDTD/xml-eDTDWP.htm )


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