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Why Not SGML?
It is increasingly less controversial to claim that SGML is essentially a dead technology (a fact that some of us had grasped and even welcomed within minutes of the first draft of XML emerging). The only organisations that should even consider SGML today are those that already have a huge investment in SGML technologies, and simply want to extend their systems to incorporate more departments or document types.
For those who have a smaller investment in SGML, it is a simple matter to convert their content to XML format (thus proving that the original promise of open and accessible document structures introduced by SGML is true).
So why should XML be chosen instead of SGML? Here are some of the reasons:
  • XML tools are usually significantly cheaper than the equivalent SGML tools (due to the XML standard being easier to support)
  • XML tools are almost always fully interoperable (due to the lack of optional features in the XML standard)
  • XML is easier for developers to learn (due to its simpler nature)
  • XML has a greater reach, on the Web and in data-centric applications, than SGML ever had, so has a more secure future