OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help



   Re: XML-DEV and Interoperability (Re: Offtopic: Web Standards Pr

[ Lists Home | Date Index | Thread Index ]
  • From: Dan Brickley <Daniel.Brickley@bristol.ac.uk>
  • To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Sun, 9 Aug 1998 11:52:16 +0100 (BST)

On Sun, 9 Aug 1998, Peter Murray-Rust wrote:
> 	- CORBA/Java. This is attractive for communities with well-established
> informatics operations which wish to interoperate. A good example is
> biology - all the major international and national genome and protein sites
> are tooling up to provide CORBA-based services. XML is yet to surface. CML
> and BSML are the only initiatives and they are relatively minor. The main
> problem with CORBA is that there is a long learning curve. Moreover
> interoperability is (I think) provided through fairly central global
> coordination - the IDLs are agreed at international level and I suspect
> that objects from a different domain will find it extremely difficult to
> interoperate with Bio-objects and vice versa. [XML has an enormous
> advantage here.]

Yes, though it's easy to set up a false opposition here: using CORBA to
interface with remote XML or RDF data stores is an attractive proposition.
The DOM comes to mind, as do various proposals for markup based IDLs. 

The claim that XML enables decentralised development, avoiding committee
bottlenecks for vocabulary creation, has a lot going for it. But as things 
stand with XML there's plenty of work yet to do on the creation of a
framework that allows resource types defined in different domains to
coexist and interact in a rich way, so there's a danger of overhyping XML
here. There's plenty of scope for more runtime-smarts to be added to the  
CORBA environment too; I can't think of any developments in this area
where new XML cross-domain clever tricks couldn't be echoed within a CORBA
based framework.

> Moreover very few people would happily author a document using CORBA-based
> tools.

I think I disagree here, but maybe am not sure what you mean. Could you
expand on this? Would they be unhappy because CORBA-based interfaces are
intrinsically unsettling (slow, proprietary, buggy???), because modelling
the document in object/class terms rather as an element/attribute
angle-bracketted textual tree is somehow less open and interoperable, or
because it's not clear what final output of such a process would amount
to (ie. what would the files look like?). Are you thinking of 
CORBA-based tools as something like OpenDoc(RIP), or like the Linux GNOME
desktop project? I for one would be more than happy to use these, and to
have my document stored without angle brackets using something like
IronDoc (public domain descendent of bento/quilt work from the structured
storage component of OpenDoc) and accessed via an IDL that offered
.toXML() methods or a DOM interface... I can't really see an opposition
between XML and CORBA in this sort of scenario. It all seems reassuringly

> documents and vice versa. I'd be very grateful for any authoritative
> statement on the relationship between UML and XML - I know there is
> something, but how important is it?

Not sure about XML in the general case, but for the RDF 'dialect', a
discussion NOTE from Walter Chang of Adobe was published on the W3C site
last week, discussing the relationship between UML and the RDF Schema
language. Note that this is a member submission and not a Working Group
publication, and that it focusses on the facilities in the first (may 98)
public draft of RDF Schemas; future versions of the spec may differ.
See http://www.w3.org/TR/ and search for 'UML'

> An aside: I am relatively surprised how few academics there are on XML-DEV.
> This is an area where (I would have thought) there is a lot of potential. I
> haven't looked at the membership list but most seem to be *.com or *.net
> (the latter are presumably individuals with a forbidden passion for XML
> independent of their employment). Academia, though apparently powerless in
> the face of commercial interests and lacking the resources for
> shrink-wrapped development, must nevertheless make vital contributions to
> new disciplines.

Exactly. That's why University of Bristol signed up to W3C... Not so sure
about 'vital' but I'd definitely encourage other academics[1] to get


[1] does neglecting a Phd in favour of web hackery count as academic? ;-)
Research and Development Unit                    tel: +44(0)117 9288478
Institute for Learning and Research Technology   http://www.ilrt.bris.ac.uk/
University of Bristol,  Bristol BS8 1TN, UK.     fax: +44(0)117 9288473 

xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
Archived as: http://www.lists.ic.ac.uk/hypermail/xml-dev/
To (un)subscribe, mailto:majordomo@ic.ac.uk the following message;
(un)subscribe xml-dev
To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo@ic.ac.uk the following message;
subscribe xml-dev-digest
List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa@ic.ac.uk)


News | XML in Industry | Calendar | XML Registry
Marketplace | Resources | MyXML.org | Sponsors | Privacy Statement

Copyright 2001 XML.org. This site is hosted by OASIS