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   RE: [xml-dev] slides: XML in Browsers

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Weirdly or not, if HTML is still dominant, and HTML is an 
SGML application, then "SGML on the web" is working or 
at least, it's most successful application is.  

XML isn't. Or if it is, it's biggest success is 
in messaging and sending dataGlobs to the transform 
engine and the local DOM data bucket.

Not exactly the results we want here.  But not because 
markup per se is failing.  I think possibly because 
people doing many things don't need it for very much.

1.  SMIL:  aka, powerpoint in markup.  The problem 
is that people have powerpoint and its toolset and 
use that for web applications.   (I like SMIL in 
RealPlayer and it is a blast to work with but again, 

2.  VoiceXML.  Neat but patent encumbered.  It becomes 
like Flash or PDF: it's owners have to push harder.  XML 
in and of itself has lots of good qualities but in no 
way guarantees "openness".

3.  XML Data islands:  standard or not, they work.

4.  XSLT:  very powerful and much loved, but if one 
is good at ASP scripting, one has a procedural mindset, 
a rowset, and a way to transform.  It isn't as good 
as XSLT but 80% of the time, it's good enough.

In my experience, adopting generalized markup requires 
a vision beyond interoperation and portability.  One 
has to be concerned about lifecycle as well and platform 
independence.  Still, see item 2, and realize that markup 
doesn't guarantee platform independence or reusability except 
from the point of view of XSLT, and data on the web doesn't 
have a significant lifecycle yet.   The value of the content 
has to be high.  That is why we used it for tech manuals.

Yes, the browser framework affects all of this significantly. 
On the other hand, I'm not sure people will put up with 
the extra work of using a full-up generalized markup browser 
as we did in the days before HTML, or that it has much 
meaning to them given that in such a beastie, one still 
needs a stylesheet system that takes on all the semantics 
of any conceivable rendering (eg, real time 3D) with 
the attendant true extensibility issues where extensibility 
means extend the framework itself.  

So plugins and downtranslation are likely to be around for 
some number of years to come.

Just for grins, consider what the classes for a framework 
would be that could handle any conceivable markup application. 
What would that look like?   Who would be able to code for it?


-----Original Message-----
From: Simon St.Laurent [mailto:simonstl@simonstl.com]

I've just posted "XML sur les navigateurs: XHTML, SVG, SMIL, XSLT et
plus" (in English except for the title) on my site:


Basically it takes a look at the ways "SGML for the Web" has (or,
largely, has not) affected the traditional browser-centered Web.

(I gave the presentation at AFNET's Net 2002 conference last week in
Paris - http://www.afnet.fr/afnet/net200x/programme.html#T9)


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