RE: About the source library

Subject: RE: About the source library
From: "Didier PH Martin" <martind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 22 May 1999 10:31:54 -0400
Hi Norman

(I got it right this time :-)

| What features of HyTime are not possible in XML?  Remember, XML is SGML.
| <reply>
| Simple, full SGML architectural form processing ;-) Also, some Hytime

Architectural forms are fixed attributes, there's nothing in XML
that precludes fixed attributes.

not only that. Architectural form allows you to tell the parser that the
"baba" element _is_A_ docloc element. Thus the "baba" element would be
considered by a "architectural form" aware processor like DSSSL as a
"docloc" element. Same thing for all other Hytime element. The point here is
that if a parser recognize architectural forms and can process the
"inheritance" we can then say that this parser support architectural forms.
Actually, no XML parsers support full architectural forms (except SP which
is an SGML _and_ XML parser) and architectural form is not something
envisioned yet by W3C (and there is a very very low probability that they
will). It could (as anything could be for an optimist mind ;-) but it is not
yet part of the W3C ecosystem. The second point is that several Hytime
constructs are declared as omittag (you know these silly ( - 0 ) things.
Omittags are not allowed in XML.

Thus, W3C need to include architectural forms in its ecosystem. If this is
not explicitly stated in one of their spec, don't count that architectural
form will be part of XML (from a usage point of view). W3C rarely re-use
specs created by institutions other than themselves ;-). So, the point is
that architectural forms and anything that includes this is not part of W3C
ecosystem (because mainly they didn't wrote any specification about this).
This is not necessarily a technical issue.

| constructs are based on the terrible (in the XML world) - 0 Omittag (yes I
| said it, I'll rest in the eternal flames :-)

You can't base things on tag ommission, it's just a typing
shortcut.  Perhaps HyTime is harder to understand if the tags
are not omitted, but that's not XMLs fault ;-)

I do not say that XML is guilty of anything ;-) Only that omittagis is not
part of XML. You are right to say that some constructs are harder to
understand or use with begin and end tag but the fact remains that you
cannot use omittag with XML (this is _the_ major difference with SGML)

|  Keep in mind that W3C is creating a competing linking spec (XLL and
| XPointer) and that XML and Hytime is probably less (a lot less in fact)
| probable than XML and XLL/XPointer

Personally, I wouldn't characterize XLink and XPointer as
"competition" with HyTime, just an alternative. But I agree that
HyTime is less likely to be implemented. But HyTime has never
been widely implemented.

When I say competition, its competition for our eye balls or mind share.
Look at what's happening today with XSL compared to DSSSL. W3C put its
marketing machine at work to get as much developers mind share as possible.
Result, a not completed specs got more mind share in some months than DSSSL
in several years. If we want it or not, these techniques are competing for
our mind share. Some of us are fortunate enough to know several languages
but the mainstream won't be as fortunate. So, it remains that XLink/XPointer
and Hytime are competing for "market share" (i.e. the biggest number of
implementations) and mind share (i.e. the biggest number of people knowing
these specifications). Actually, Hytime starts with a handicap. A not
completed spec is more popular than a mature spec (since several years).

Didier PH Martin

 DSSSList info and archive:

Current Thread