Am I the only one saddened by the fact that it's been over four years since Microsoft and IBM co-submitted the XInclude NOTE and the spec is still just a Candidate Recommendation? How about the fact that the W3C Query Languages workshop which led to the creation of the XQuery working group was held almost six years ago and the XQuery specification is still a Working Draft which means it is still a year or two from being done.

This lateness in delivering specs in combination with the unnecessary complexity yet lack of features of other W3C technologies such as XML Schema makes me feel more and more that the W3C is more of a hinderance to the world of XML development than a boon at this point.

Many feel that there isn't any alternative but grinning and bearing it. I wonder if that is truly the case and whether individual or community based innovation such as has happened with technologies like RSS or EXSLT isn't the way forward.


Wednesday, April 21, 2004 7:16:21 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I am totally saddened, but for purely selfish reasons. I just finished "Essential XML" by Don Box, Aaron Skonnard, and John Lam that I received for free in 2000 for attending a conference. I wasn't really interested in XML then so I let it sit.

After reading it, I assumed I'd be hopelessly out of date with XML, but it turns out that at the pace that the W3C moves, the book is presciently up to date (for the most part).

However, I am surprised. I was hoping to see these as full recommendations and thus use them up the wazoo. ;)
Wednesday, April 21, 2004 7:49:03 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)

I believe (if I find the post link will bring it up) the best description I have heard of ht ecurrrent status of the w3c. Is the Senate in the star wars movies.

I don't believe with the current state of the w3 we would even remotely get a spec out that one is clean and lean and provides what is needed (w3c schema is the perfect example as it caters to to many parties and caves in on some other areas (extensability support is the big one) fully self hosting is another.

But there is a down side to community lead efforts, and that is compatability and splintering. RSS has some examples of it but has come the course.

I would also counter where would RSS be without the W3C implementing the XML standard. Some ISO standards take 3 to 5 years to get processed some are realatively quick. It really depends on how many resources that the finaly spec will influence.

well enough rambleing Love what has been doen in whidbey with XML so far Very much a improvement over 1.x implementation.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004 7:55:17 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
What saddens me most is when there are big interests at stake and 'big companies' on purpose delay or sabotage the best of intentions. Binary xml is one example.

Technology has become worse than politics.
Wednesday, April 21, 2004 9:20:22 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
The stuff that the W3C standardized relatively quickly in its heydey was essentially the result of "community based innovation" during the 1080's and early '90's -- in academia, in startups (Netscape was once a startup!), niche SGML companies, etc. What they're discovering is that refactoring and debugging by committee is feasible, but design by committee is somewhere between slow and impossible.

Of course, there is also the matter that during the .bomb boom the IBMs and Microsofts of the world saw the value of subordinating their proprietary interests to the network effect created by the community based innovation, and today they want to lead the community, not follow. For better or worse, so does Sun, Oracle, and everyone else. That gives us the hideous mess that passes for web services "standards" (beyond the hard core of XML, SOAP, WSDL, maybe a couple more). The world's only hope for real standardization here is that somebody -- presumably MS and IBM -- "win" and the rest of the world follows their lead, or else the whole fiasco gets written off as an educational expense in how not to do things (to be restarted when the community of innovators has sorted out some best practices). In any event, the Powers that Be chose to have these conversations at the W3C during the browser wars days, and now they have chosen not to have them at the W3C. There's no point in pretending that what comes out of a conversation that doesn't involve the dominant vendors will be a "standard", no matter what the W3C, or ISO, or anyone else says.

The interesting question to me is how RSS and similar innovation communities can get past their equivalent of the browser wars and get reasonably standardized specs widely accepted. Don't even THINK about the W3C for this! Ultimately, as in the browser wars, it comes down to whether the participants value a common spec more than their own egos / IP / whatever.
Mike Champion
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