Of course All is not sweetness and light

Sometimes the enthusiasm for a vocabulary gets absurd. I recently over heard a conversation at a markup-related meeting between two people who had not previously met. One introduced himself as new to XML and there to learn. The other said You need to learn about MYVOCABULARY. Don’t waste your time on anything else, MYVOCABULARY is the only smart thing to do in 2018. Note: this person was recommending a specific vocabulary to a new user without knowing anything about the new user’s data, requirements, or environment. This is stupid. This happens way too often. I have heard a software sales person tell a potential customer that if they didn’t select the markup vocabulary this person’s software best supported, the sales person would call the potential clients manager and tell the manager that the would-be client was incompetent. Fortunately, the object of this bullying was not intimidated, and made a decision that was appropriate for the organization and document collection, not for the salesperson.

I have seen it go in the other direction, too. A user with a need saw an application working at another user site, really liked how it was working, and asked about it. We are using this and that tool, our XML is encoded using this vocabulary, and we are getting this performance. Wow! So, the would-be user called those vendors, learned that those tools could be customized to work with almost any XML vocabulary but out of the box (or with minimal customization) worked with the one they had seen demonstrated. So, this user had a customization of that shared vocabulary made to meet their needs, minimize the cost of customizing those impressive tools, and get up and running as quickly and economically as possible. Was it the best vocabulary choice...?