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


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help



   Re: What do XML consultants actually do?

[ Lists Home | Date Index | Thread Index ]
  • From: kragen@pobox.com (Kragen Sitaker)
  • To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 23:12:42 -0500 (EST)

David Megginson writes (of a proposed simplified XML):
> God!  If I were paid to help people figure out XML syntax, I would be
> way, way, way, WAY overpaid.  What companies hire consultants for is
> to help them understand how to exchange and process information: 90%
> of the complexity comes from the nature of the information they're
> trying to model and the business environment in which they work, 9.9%
> of the complexity comes from finding, learning, and integrating the
> software components, and perhaps the remaining 0.1% has something to
> do with the syntax of the markup layer (but probably not).

So in a $1 million project, perhaps $1,000 of the effort goes to things
like implementing DTDs, verifying that input is in the correct form,
fixing bugs in outputting XML, etc.?  Sounds reasonable, if perhaps a
little low.  But maybe the projects you're working on are much bigger
and harder than the ones I'm familiar with.  In fact, that seems quite

I suggest that the most important projects are the small ones.
ArborText is undoubtedly tremendously significant, and no doubt the
syntax of SGML contributes very little to its complexity.  But the
significance of Arbortext is outweighed by the hundreds of little XML
programs people have hacked up -- programs that would never have been
attempted if understanding SGML were a prerequisite.

Procter & Gamble makes more money than Giddings & Lewis[0] -- fifty
times as much, in fact -- and directly benefits thousands of times as
many people with its products, despite G&L's products arguably
providing much more benefit per dollar.  This is because the commitment
required to profit from P&G's products is trivial, so more people do
it.  You don't need to know anything and you don't need to spend any
significant amount of money.

(Maybe someone else can come up with a better comparison; P&G vs. G&L
is about as apples-and-oranges as it gets.)

[0] Actually, they apparently got bought out by "TAQU" in 1997, after
    losing money.  I'm comparing P&G's 1998 revenues with G&L's 1996

<kragen@pobox.com>       Kragen Sitaker     <http://www.pobox.com/~kragen/>
The Internet stock bubble didn't burst on 1999-11-08.  Hurrah!

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/ and on CD-ROM/ISBN 981-02-3594-1
To unsubscribe, mailto:majordomo@ic.ac.uk the following message;
unsubscribe 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