[Date Index][Thread Index]
[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

Re: WML Roadmap or TODO-List

On Mon, Aug 13, 2001 at 06:57:25PM +0200, Wolfgang Dautermann wrote:
> Hi,
> I wonder, if there is a TODO-List or a "roadmap" for wml? There is
> none, right?

Hi Wolfgang,

here is a second reply, more detailed ;)

> Of course, we are fixing bugs or add some new features to some tags. But
> I believe, that adding new features happens rather uncoordinated (well,
> of course, Denis has to "approve" patches) and I fear that WML will become
> more and more complex...

In fact, only Ralf and I do commit changes, so WML has a very cenralized
development model.

> Where should WML be in in one, two, five or ten years?

Good question.
Many people do also certainly wonder whether it is worth maintaining WML 
when XML is under spotlights.

My opinion is that WML is still a very useful tool.  If you compare with
XML+DTD+XSLT, it is much easier to learn and extend (at least for a Perl
developer).  When XML tools become standard and allow embedded
scripting, there will be no need for WML anymore.
So I will try to let WML evolve to ease migration to XML, i.e. adopt a
syntax compatible with well established XML components.  I do not want
to replace mp4h by an XML parser, but to allow parsing XML documents,
which is slightly different.

This is not trivial since I lost my cristall bowl.  For instance, will
DTD or Schemas be the standard for document type definitions?  No idea,
so it is quite hard to know which road to go on.

The only unavoidable components IMO are XML base (I mean its tag syntax)
and namespaces.
Today WML can deal with XML tags (elements would be more adequate).  So
I have to concentrate on namespaces, it should not be hard to manage.
Next I would like to improve mp4h to let it parse all kind of XML
documents.  Currently it could give strange results if there are spaces
around equal sign in ``name=value'' attribute pairs.  There may be other
constructs that do cause problems and I am not aware of.

Here is a reasonable roadmap for mp4h:
  1. Add a <define-entity> tag and replace all &name; entities in source
  2. Add namespace support
  3. Improve mp4h parser to allow parsing of both current WML source
     file and XML elements

About other WML parts, I only see improvements in wml_p7_htmlfix, it could
for instance adapt attribute pairs to XML syntax name="value".

Denis Barbier
WML Maintainer
Website META Language (WML)                www.engelschall.com/sw/wml/
Official Support Mailing List                   sw-wml@engelschall.com
Automated List Manager                       majordomo@engelschall.com