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   WAP and Disruption (was Re: [xml-dev] XML=WAP? And DOA?)

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1/13/2002 5:02:56 PM, "Jens Jakob Andersen, PDI" 
<jens.jakob.andersen@post.dk> wrote:

> Has XML reached the stage of WAP? I.e. has XML proven 
> itself to be so complex when being used for 
> real-life applications, that it will die a silent death,
> just like WAP?

One more thing ... I would argue (in 20:20 hindsight) that 
WAP is dying because it violates both Moore's Law and 
Metcalfe's Law  -- it assumed that cellphones would be 
severely bandwidth limited for some time to come, and didn't 
leverage the installed base of HTTP/HTML infrastructure and 

I'll predict a similar fate for other technologies (Curl 
comes to mind ...) whose value depends on saving bytes or 
cycles and requires one to re-write applications built on 
popular technologies with new or proprietary technologies. 
"Disruptive technologies" is a buzzword among marketing types 
these days, but if you read Christensen's book, the people 
being disrupted by small disk drives, small motorcycles, 
hydraulics in mechanical excavators, etc. were the producers, 
not the consumers.  WAP (and Curl) disrupt both producers and 
consumers. [Of course, if Curl manages to get distributed 
with every browser and WAP put on every cellphone, this 
factor becomes less salient ...]

Using XML behind the scenes to integrate applications, 
provide a neutral content format that can be translated into 
HTML or WML or simply styled with CSS or XSLT, syndicate 
content, perform cross-platform RPC, etc. doesn't disrupt the  
ultimate consumers, so I don't think that WAP's fate 
foretells much about the fate of XML.

Likewise with complexity.  The growing complexity of the XML 
specs is a problem for the producers of XML tools, but the 
ultimate consumers are probably oblivious to whether 
"plumbing" under the floor is built using well-formed XML or 
"PSVIcally correct" XML.  Those that actually use the XML are 
probably just using whatever part of the specs that they 
understand (note how little of "XML" (broadly defined) that 
SOAP depends on).  WAP consumers had no such choice.

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