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   RE: [xml-dev] 2002 as the year of XML (meltdown due to patents)

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I agree with Dave.  That article doesn't tell us much that is new 
and Cringely is missing the trends in government sectors that 
will sustain XML companies better than startups and 
entertainment companies.   Until we get a larger community 
of authors, artists, etc. who are able to make a living 
on web content, the boredom factor keeps it from growing.   

OTOH, this is a business area much like neighborhood coffee shops 
and bars:  just as the big barn restaurants are dieing out, 
the neighborhood entrepeneurs look like geniuses to their 
accountants.   The comfort factor, the familiarity, and the 
sense of security that if the teen agers are there, they are 
in good hands, plus the walkin element makes these profitable 
if not a get rich quick scheme.   Smart owners are accepting 
lower profits and break even schemes, and smart entertainers 
are bringing their fees in line with smaller rooms, fewer hours, 
fewer seats and more  family-oriented entertainment.   Web businesses can do 
the same and stay in business.  It isn't a niche as much 
as a local focus.  There are problems of managing the focus 
but that is a normal problem. 

Patents are irksome but the CS industry at large is comfortable with them, 
dealt with them in the past, and will deal with them now.  It 
is the development startups and open software communities that have a problem. 
It does mean someone in the company or a service does the 
relevant research.  Another boon for patent attorneys. 

Watching XML is as exciting as watching old ladies knitting 
in rocking chairs.  That is how it should be.  XML is an 
enabler.  Google remains the engine that could to the 
web user.  Where an XML developer begins to understand 
the principles of say CRM, outward facing applications, 
and doesn't try to sell the web just as the web, that is, 
clearly sees the thin-client does well where the application 
has a strong communication aspect instead of trying to shoehorn 
all of the applications into a thin-client architecture, there 
is a lot of good business out there.  Experience counts 
particularly subject matter expertise.  Markup projects have 
always required that with markup being just a tool on the belt. 
Most SGML projects in my memory that tried to use abstractions as 
a substitute for domain knowledge died in version 0.9. XML 
is no different.  AsIs-ToBe is still the correct order of tag 

If you can find a "killer app" development project; fine.  But 
sustainment of business is the first order of the day.  A smaller
percentage margin with all bills paid on time is a healthy business. 
If you can sustain a staff, when that magical once in a lifetime 
risky but huge payoff project appears, you have the get go to 
get going.  That is how little companies become big ones without 
selling their souls to the VC ghouls.



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