Transition in perspective

I really like the exchange between Kevin Burton and Mark Pilgrim, which Dave Winer quotes today . In particular, this comment from Mark:

Keep in mind, however, that HTML is just a temporary diversion while people are still trying to grasp SGML. [ diveintomark ]

This reminds me of a panel at an XML conference. I sat next to Tim Bray, who was asked when XML would replace HTML on the web. His answer was, roughly, "Don't hold your breath, but don't worry about it, either." Although I keep hoping for a transition to fully XML-aware writing tools, I'm not holding my breath, and I'm trying not to worry, either.

Here's another great observation from Tim Bray, in response to the question: "Where's the schema for RSS?":

Many on this list will find it shocking, but lots of important XML dialects don't have any DTDs or schemas. Particularly in the application-glue space. People email back and forth some examples, they cut some code, and then everything's working and they're too busy to go back and write a schema.

In fact, I am at this very moment working on a proposal to do some data mapping of a big information pool that can generate XML output, they just sent us some sample instances, seemed to do the job.

I don't 100% approve of doing it this way, but that doesn't stop people doing it, and (at least sometimes) getting good results. [ ]

This rings true for me.

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