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   RE: [xml-dev] Painful USA Today article (was RE: [xml-dev] ANN:RESTTutor

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On Tue, 21 May 2002, Joshua Allen wrote:

> > deeper into the problem.  One quote I thought could correlate directly
> > with what we are seeing with XML specifications and technologies:
> >
> >    'But companies don't always need what they get. "They overbuy
> >    and get more features, more functions than they need," says
> >    analyst David Smith of Gartner'
> >
> > History keeps repeating itself!
> On the other hand, the availability of tools and products for XML has
> lagged pretty badly, making it hard for the progress-minded CEO to find
> things to spend money on.  The complication in the specs only makes it
> more difficult for vendors to produce products that people can overbuy.
> :-)

What you say is true.  XML is repeating the history of SGML.  SGML was
complicated and vendors had a difficult time supporting all the features.
This drove the cost of the software up tremendously.  Most vendors shied
away from SGML and didn't bother building software.  A few vendors,
Microsoft being one, stuck their 'toe in the water' and quickly pulled it
out again because it wasn't cost effective because the demand didn't
justify the development costs.

I find it interesting that one of the original design goals of XML was:

 "The number of optional features is to be kept to an absolute minimum."

This is still true for XML, the document.  However, in order for a vendor
to supply a validating parser to the general population, the software has
to support DTDs, W3C Schema, RELAX NG, XDR, and who knows what when all
is said and done.

If a vendor wants to provide e-commerce XML transport they have to support

The XML specification is 4 years old and vendors are still having a
difficult time betting on which specifications to put their development
$ in.  No matter what they decide it is a gamble.  They can't support

XML has so much promise in so many areas.  From my personal perspective I
am seeing the demand for XML dwindling.  Some of it may be because of the
economy but I believe a lot of it is because of the confusion around the
competing specifications.  Organizations that were seriously thinking
about starting XML projects have taken a 'wait and see' attitude.


Betty Harvey                         | Phone: 410-787-9200 FAX: 9830
Electronic Commerce Connection, Inc. |
harvey@eccnet.com                    | Washington,DC SGML/XML Users Grp
URL:  http://www.eccnet.com          | http://www.eccnet.com/xmlug/


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