OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help



   Re: [xml-dev] XML doesn't deserve its "X".

[ Lists Home | Date Index | Thread Index ]

3/5/2002 7:46:18 AM, Eric van der Vlist <vdv@dyomedea.com> wrote:

>I am also (and maybe more) worried that nobody will ever want to change 
>the XML 1.0 recommendation and that we'll have ni chance to use what we 
>have learned since...

Probably not.  You mention basic data models -- RDBMS/tables, RDF/triples,
and XML/trees.  Let's think of the basic programming languages of the
early 1960's -- COBOL/business, FORTRAN/scientific, and ALGOL/structured.
These basic ideas have been combined, broken, and recombined repeatedly
by individuals (Pascal), companies (Java), and committees (Ada).  New
ideas have been introduced (OO), both from the ground up (Smalltalk) and
as add-ons (C++). 

When standards committees and government mandates tried to impose
an orderly evolutionary process (Ada and COBOL come to mind), innovation
came from out in the wilds of academia (LISP, BASIC) or industry labs
(C).   Even today when industry consolidation and quasi-monopolies have
consolidated things down to about two dominant platforms (Windows and 
Java), and they seem to be converging on most of the same basic ideas
(C#), there's a lot of innovation in programming languages out there
in the wild.  Python, Ruby, PHP all seem to be growing in popularity.

So, sure XML is not the ultimate answer -- it's the re-capitulation
of the "hierarchical data" meme after 15 years of submergence under
the "table" meme.  It came in from the wilds, even though Microsoft
in particular nurtured it and propagated it.  Sure, people are trying
to force-fit everything into XML, just as they did with the relational
model 10-15 years ago, some of it makes sense and some of it 
doesn't.  Some of it will succeed, and much of it won't ... and in
5 or 10 or 15 years some new meme will come in from the wild and displace
the now-ossified XML.  That is the Tao of Software.  

>>>XML is now legacy. Its users community is screaming against any change 
>>>and its specification body seems paralysed by its structure and the 
>>>diverging interests of its members...

Well, yes ... the Tao in action.  It's actually the Tao of Technology,
not just software.  Check out THE INNOVATOR'S DILEMMA by Clayton
Christensen (the Marketing types have appropriated the "disruptive 
technology" slogan without really understanding the book, IMHO). 
See the interview with him at http://www.inc.com/search/23854-print.html

"Remember that when a new idea emerges in an established company, it needs 
to get funded. And the only ideas that get funded are those that help 
the established company make more money. That process favors the 
ideas that create improved products for existing customers, and 
tends to reject more innovative, or disruptive, ideas. That is 
what creates disruptive entrepreneurial opportunities."
>>>It's probably time to look for the next wave!

It's out there somewhere ... the proverbial furry little
creature out there dining on dinosaur eggs.  I don't have a clue what
it is, but it's out there.  It will probably look as much like XML
as C looks like Pascal or Ruby looks like Java, but highly refactored.
And then it will get polluted/corrupted/ossified and the whole
cycle starts over again ...


News | XML in Industry | Calendar | XML Registry
Marketplace | Resources | MyXML.org | Sponsors | Privacy Statement

Copyright 2001 XML.org. This site is hosted by OASIS