Call for unification of W3C specifications
19:05, 26 Jan 2000 UTC | Leigh Dodds

In a posting to XML-DEV on Monday Nils Klarlund made a call to unify and clarify the XML 1.0, DOM, XPATH, and XML Infoset specifications. The post raised some interesting responses.

In his message Nils included a catalogue of apparent inconsistencies between the four specifications, both in terms of their model and terminology. In a follow-up post, Nils also commented:

"I'm concerned that DOM, XPATH, and INFOSET do not turn out to be essentially the same model. That would be a great shame. Better get it right than rush."

In a lengthy, and eye-opening, contribution Steven Newcomb wrote:

"I continue to find it astonishing and frustrating that, despite the fact that all this was already straightened out, and very cleanly indeed, in the ISO/IEC 10744:1997 international standard, excellent people like Nils Klarlund still don't know about it, or, if they do, they choose to ignore it. Nils's analysis of this situation fails to even mention groves and property sets, much less compare their carefully balanced elegance with the ongoing W3C design chaos that he so deplores."

Michael Champion responded:

"The "lack of influence garnered by ISO 10744" is, as near as I can tell, the result of its difficulty for an ordinarily intelligent person to understand, not a conspiracy involving Microsoft, the press, the W3C, or anyone else."

This comes after a lengthy debate on XML-DEV concerning the W3C, its processes, and even possible alternatives.

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