XML 1.1 Recommendation

W3C finally put its seal of recommendation on XML 1.1 which is going to confuse a lot of people for the years to come.  In essence, it resyncs XML with latest Unicode standard and simplifies aspects of the XML affected by Unicode related changes.  I was one of the folks who called for some of the changes in XML 1.1 (seemingly ages ago), but even I have mixed feelings about the spec.  So it's not surprising that the release of XML 1.1 spec upset a lot of folks out there.

My recommendation for XML application developers is to ignore XML 1.1 until support for XML 1.1 in XML parser implementations is near ubiquitous.  I suspect it will take at least two years to approach that level of availability.  When will it be safe to consider dropping XML 1.0 support?  My optimistic answer is at least seven to ten years from now.  More realistic answer is never.

Another reason for not using XML 1.1 now is that next version of XML is likely to arrive before XML 1.1 is widely adopted.  Why?  Because engineers are like blacksmiths without a hobby.

So please don't panic and do ignore XML 1.1 unless:

  • you are an XML parser implementor.
  • your application requires use of XML 1.1.
  • you have a monopoly.

Update:

Read Dare Obasanjo's post XML 1.1: The W3C Gets It Wrong.  I wonder if Jean Paoli has a blog?