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Re: The relentless march of abstraction (fwd)

Tim Bray writes:
 > At 11:41 AM 27/02/01 -0500, David Megginson wrote:
 > >I think that client-side XML failed simply because it didn't fill a
 > >big enough real need (HTML 4 is close enough)
 > I have a problem with your verb tense.  The web is still too slow.
 > Fatter pipes aren't going to help.  The only way to make it fast
 > is to do some of the work on the (severely underemployed, these
 > days) client, and the only way to do that is to send some useful
 > data there to get chewed on.  So I think client-side XML just
 > hasn't got going yet.  To say it had failed, it would be 
 > necessary for it to have been tried. -Tim

Browsers that support XML + stylesheets (especially CSS) are available
on millions of desktops, both in the closed source world (MSIE) and in
the open-source world (Mozilla), and have been for a couple of years.
We can debate about particulars -- MSIE's support for XSL was pathetic
for a long time, Mozilla took its time making its DOM stable, etc. --
but that's splitting hairs: most specs' backers would have been
grateful for a tiny fraction of the exposure and implementation that
browser-side XML has already had.  If it's not flying yet, it's
probably not going to.

Note, however, that I have shifted from the phrase "client-side XML"
to the phrase "browser-side XML".  In fact, I do agree that
data-oriented XML (SOAP, RDF, or what-have-you) makes an awful lot of
sense for non-browser client-side applications, and my original choice
of words was a little misleading.

All the best,


David Megginson                 david@megginson.com