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   Re: What is XML for?

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  • From: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>
  • To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 14:19:05 -0500

At 10:57 AM 1/29/99 -0800, Dave Winer wrote:
>>>it's simple enough for neophytes to walk up to and explore
>You gotta be kidding!

I'm not kidding, not at all, though I can definitely understand why you'd
think that.

The < > syntax is familiar to anyone who's ever used HTML.  Basic element
and attribute structures aren't that hard to learn.  Validation, as long as
you stick to describing element and attribute structures, really isn't that
hard either.

The more subtle parts of XML are awfully damn hard, certainly - I think
pretty much everyone is still learning.  But the basic syntax, the material
you really need to know to apply it to a very large core set of problems,
isn't very hard.

The standard certainly obfuscates it, but basic XML really isn't that
complicated.  'XML in a Day' isn't an impossible dream by any means, as
long as you start with the friendly part, not the complicated bits.  And
how many people really want to use the complicated bits anyway?  

There's a long learning curve ahead of users as far as best practices, but
I don't think XML itself should be very scary.

Simon St.Laurent
XML: A Primer / Building XML Applications (March)
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