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RE: The Three Myths of XML
- From: Michael Brennan <Michael_Brennan@allegis.com>
- To: XML-Dev Mailing list <email@example.com>
- Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2001 12:52:20 -0700
I think most of the hype of XML being magic is waning. There's a new myth
being propagated, though. I've seen a spate of articles of late that
characterize XML as a failure. XML is characterized as a "tower of Babel".
The problem, according to these articles, is the lack of standardized
vocabularies. Without those, XML is utterly useless. Once those standard
vocabularies are established, though, systems will magically connect and
talk to each other over the internet, ecommerce will hum along without human
intervention like a well-oiled machine, interoperability issues will become
a forgotten thing of the past.
This seems to me pretty consistent with how the popular media tends to treat
just about any new technology -- it's either a panacea or an utter failure;
there's almost nothing in between. Complex subtleties are reduced to simple
caricatures. Everything is cast in black and white. How many times have we
heard a TV news story about an imminent cure for cancer/AIDS/whatever
anytime a scientist makes an incremental advancement in understanding? I
think the same phenomenon is at work, here. Some of it is natural fallout
from trying to summarize a broad topic "in a nutshell". But much of it, I
think, results from a combination of marketing hype and honest naiveté.
In time, the myths fade, only to be replaced by new ones. Fortunately that
does not stop those with more balanced perspectives from recognizing the
real value -- and shortcomings -- of new tools and finding useful,
innovative ways to solve problems with them.