Egad. Thanks to Michael Champion, I am reminded of the fact that it's been five years since I took a joke seriously and started a riot that lasted years and produced a couple of XML subsets and launched other XML simplification projects like YML.
Why did the riot called SML-DEV eventually die off? Well, we got sick of XML too early. It took five years for complaints from the general developer community to gather enough mass. Five years ago, it was just us (so called XML gurus) worried about ease of use and complexities. Now it's real world practitioners, people we were worried about, complaining about their bruises.
I have no regrets about diverting hundreds of XML gurus, loving called Simpletons, off W3C's official XML bandwagon. I met great bunch of smart folks and I had fun. Also, our simpleton memes spread far and wide, affecting many XML formats created since then. Besides, I am a born troublemaker and I was doing what I was born to do. Fishes swim. Rabbits hop. And skunks…well…I think you know what I mean.
What I do have regrets about is the DOM API. Although I participated in the W3C DOM activities and implemented the DOM several times to make sure people had some chance to bang on the API before it went final, it wasn't until much later that I realized how lame the API really is. It's practically unusable without a thick coat of helper functions. The fact that I took part in building of that lemon makes me feel really really sorry. I must have been blind and stupid to not see how ugly and useless it is.
To the geekdom, I offer my sincerest apology for the mess I helped create, the DOM API.