At 11:50 PM 12/20/98 +0000, Peter Flynn wrote:
>Mark writes:
>> Perhaps I should have said - revolution for the web. SGML has been round
>> a long time, sure, but no-one ever told me about it! All the existing
>Alas not even for the Web. Panorama has been available for four or
>five years at least, maybe more.

Yes, and SGML has been generally scorned as a Web format for four or five
years at least, maybe more.  XML is a new opportunity that deserves to be
considered on its own, developing features - relatively simple, usable, and
not necessarily document-oriented features - at a fanstastic pace.  The
same applies to software.

>> direction, and I apologise for being so excited. But my guess is that
>> the DB and systems people will make the running on this in the next few
>I would like to think so.

No one should feel like they have to apologize for being excited about XML.
 However much XML may be a subset of SGML, XML has opened the door to new
possibilities that SGML was just too big and unwieldy for.  There's plenty
to be excited about in XML, beyond the excitement that SGML had to offer.
Simplification is important - strip it down to reasonably basic structures,
and let people build their own solutions.  That's what XML has done, finally.

If anyone's interested in more on my cranky opinions regarding SGML and
XML, see my essay "Letting Go: The Futures of XML and SGML" at

Simon St.Laurent
XML: A Primer / Cookies
Sharing Bandwidth
Building XML Applications (February)