Reductio ad absurdum: Jelliffe, Park and the Stupid Markup Language
14:58, 11 Nov 1999 UTC | Edd Dumbill

Recent discussion on the XML-dev list has taken a bizarre twist. After extended debate on "throwing out" chunks of XML, such as external parsed entities, ideas were taken to an extreme.

Rick Jelliffe, author of the Schematron, showed his famed capacity for thinking the unthinkable and released a parody draft for XML 2.0.

Although Jelliffe's post was intended to poke fun, it spurred some serious thought in Don Park. Park posted a suggestion for SML, "Simple (or Stupid) Markup Language". SML would be a cut-down XML useful for those applications which didn't need all the paraphernalia of XML 1.0.

Among the proposals are:

  • No attributes
  • No PIs, Comments, Notations or CDATA
  • UTF-8 only
  • No non-character entity references

Park concludes with a request for comment: "What do you guys think? Please do not get caught up with the list I presented above because they are just ideas and subject to change later depending on your capacity to scream convincingly. The key point to consider is whether there is a broad enough need for such a subset of XML."

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