XML News from Sunday, February 10, 2008

The W3C Core Working group has published a proposed edited recommendation of XML 1.0, fifth edition. "This fifth edition is not a new version of XML. As a convenience to readers, it incorporates the changes dictated by the accumulated errata (available at http://www.w3.org/XML/xml-V10-4e-errata) to the Fourth Edition of XML 1.0, dated 16 August 2006. In particular, erratum [E09] relaxes the restrictions on element and attribute names, thereby providing in XML 1.0 the major end user benefit currently achievable only by using XML 1.1."

Hmm, this certainly looks like a new version of XML to me. The BNF has changed and previously malformed documents are suddenly well-formed. Existing parsers cannot handle the syntax defined by this draft. XML 1.1 has failed so now the W3C is trying to rewrite history and pretend that this is what they meant all along. (If that were true, why did we waste so much time on XML 1.1?) Apparently stability of standards is no longer a virtue at the W3C. This proposed edit is unnecessary and actively harmful to the community. It should be rejected.