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- From: Paul Tchistopolskii <email@example.com>
- To: "'xml-dev'" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 21:13:12 -0700
> > > I don't thing ANYONE hyped XML to the point that the article implies.
> > Listen to (or read) Steve Ballmer's remarks over the past year.
> > http://www.xml.org/xmlorg_news/ceo-xml.shtml
> You got me there! Ballmer's hype is pretty monumental, paraphrased later in
> this article as "Ballmer's optimism that XML will flawlessly usher in a new
> means of doing business."
Probably I don't understand the difference between MS hype
and Sun/Oracle/Netscape/W3C hype, but I found *absolutely* nothing
extraordinary in Ballmer's statements ( I used the URL above,
maybe you are discussing some other article ? )
There are very few quotes of Ballmer's words and I would like to
comment on those quotes.
Calling it an "incredibly important invention," Ballmer says XML
"will make it much more possible to link Web sites and to link
consumers to Web sites in rich, interesting ways."
Where is the hype? X-link, XSLT and some other W3C
stuff ( with some support by web browsers ) realy
make it much more possible to link Web sites and link
consumers to Web sites in rich, interesting ways.
Where is the hype here ? Probably the hype is
that Ballmer is using the word 'XML' when he should
actualy use the wording "XML and some associated
XML standards/recommendations" ? I don't think
he should be blamed for such a subtile thing.
XML will become the "universal medium by which Web
sites and users of Web sites communicate," Ballmer says.
Where is the hype here? Should Ballmer start explaining
As we all know ( at least those of us who have spend
some time reading "Mythical man-month" by Brooks )
the core thing in software development appears to be
not the code but data structures ( AKA dataflows ).
XML makes some step and provides some simplification
here ( in the core area of software development).
XML provides ( sometimes trivial ) improvements with
serialization of relatively complex data structures in
a *bit* more open and portable fashion comparing
XML to any known 'competitive' solutions including:
binary and / or
proprietary and / or
oversimplified ( comma-separted ASCII files ) and / or
not scalable ( HTML ) and / or
bloated ( SGML )
The data and dataflows is the backbone of
software development. *any* simplification
( even *very* subtile and *trivial* ) in this area is
I bet that *any* developer after he discovers how
easy it is to write some home-grown configuration
file in XML and to process it with DOM, he will
then *never* think about writing yet-another-comma-or-:-or
some-other-thing separated.ini/config file.
Is this trivial simplification? Yes it is. ( like many other
simplifications provided by XML )
There is nothing *better* yet. This is Ballmer's
Are there any alternatives to XML to build the
'logical layer on top of IP' ?
I have to agree with Ballmer that there is no alternatives
for *this* problem domain.
( I know what is Corba and I don't think
it is alternative , because it is much harder to use.
I'm not saying that Corba is better than XML or opposite.
I'm saying that XML simplifies *much* wider spector of
tasks than Corba does - even Corba / RMI simplifies some
things much better ).
That means Ballmer's point :
"universal medium by which Web
sites and users of Web sites communicate,"
is *perfectly* reasonable. I see no hype here. If somebody
thinks that Ballmer is wrong and the medium would be built
on top of binary ( Corba) / and/or simplified ( HTML, csv e t.c)
and/or some other way - that somebody will just make
another 'prediction' ( like: Corba will take over and will become
that 'universal medium'. ).
But I see absolutely no hype. Ballmer says that Web will be
built on XML instead of HTML.
Is is legal to call HTML 'universal medium' of current Web ?
I think it is. That means it is also legal to call XML
'universal medium' of the tomorrow's Web.
Encoding data in XML will let various platforms "talk" to each other.
This is key to taking e-commerce and e-government to the next level,
No hype here.
When *any* system allows an option to serialize
some data into 'open' text format such a system is
*always* *much* more scalable than the same system
with no such ability. Just imagine if Adobe Frame Maker
with have no MIF format.
The biggest obstacle for interoperability are vendors.
I don't know why vendors are closing their formats.
1. XML 'forces' proprietary system to behave
in 'more open' fasion. ( Politicaly ).
2. 1. XML 'forces' proprietary system to behave
in 'more open' fasion. ( Technicaly ).
Nobody prevents vendors to ship 'unreadable' XML file,
but having it in XML at least simplifies the process of hacking
the format, when you have to write some extension
for yet another proprietary system.
Is it trivial simplification when you need to reverese-engeneer
'closed' text file but not 'closed' binary file? Yes it is trivial.
But is *is* a simplification in the core part of dataflow / data.
( See above ).
> Thanks for setting me straight ... it's scary to look back on such hype; it
> reminds me of 1997 or so when Java was hyped as the Windows-killing
> universal client... and of 1998 when it was considered a failure for not
> sending Bill G. to the poorhouse. We should probably get ready for a spate
> of "XML didn't solve the world's problems, so it's dead" articles. Sigh.
Hyping Java to kill Windows on the client side was just plain
( Let me not explain what particular technical mistakes have
been made by designers of Java language, I think those who
are aware of Java internals already know what I mean. People
who wrote Juice have some nice explanations on their website,
and early books written by some of Java inventors also
have some reasonable and honest statements.
Don't know what happens in second editions of the
I don't see any hype of this kind in Ballmer's quotes. I see
no statements which are stupid from technical standpoit.
More. I agree with Ballmer from technical standpoint.
I see a lot of hype from people who are making money
publishing some stupid articles and playing some
political games instead of being honest and responsible
( I mean some journalists ). But that's typical thing. It has
nothing to do with the technology. Politics and media walk
hand by hand in any country.
I don't think Ballmer should be in any way blamed for the
quotes I found in this article. Probably there is some
other URL somewhere?
PS. Can't belive I'm defending MS CEO ;-)
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