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] The XML 500 word Challenge

[ Lists Home | Date Index | Thread Index ]
  • To: "Mike Champion" <mc@xegesis.org>,<xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
  • Subject: RE: [xml-dev] The XML 500 word Challenge
  • From: "Dare Obasanjo" <dareo@microsoft.com>
  • Date: Sun, 27 Oct 2002 08:35:26 -0800
  • Thread-index: AcJ91d+ZE3dyeLbQQ8azC/RnPh0vMAAAL71b
  • Thread-topic: [xml-dev] The XML 500 word Challenge

 XML is a format for describing structured data using a syntax similar to HTML but with stricter rules. 

	-----Original Message----- 
	From: Mike Champion [mailto:mc@xegesis.org] 
	Sent: Sun 10/27/2002 8:27 AM 
	To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org 
	Subject: Re: [xml-dev] The XML 500 word Challenge

	10/27/2002 3:22:47 AM, AndrewWatt2000@aol.com wrote:
	>  I would suggest that many Web developers would choke (terminally?) on the
	>  term "labelled tree". A (caricature) response might go like this: "What the
	>  !*"!)? is a labelled tree? I remember seeing a tree with yellow ribbons on
	>  it in that old film but labels? What's this guy talking about? Is he a
	>  computer whiz kid or the curator of an arboretum?"
	>  Many will genuinely choke on the term metalanguage too.
	>  So, in my view, you will have lost/bamboozled a significant number of
	>  potential readers in the first substantive sentence of your essay.
	OK, fair enough. I'm tempted to surrender in humiliation .... But
	some questions before I do:
	So, the notion of a "tree" in the data structure sense is
	over the head of the average user?  That may be true, or at least its
	"truth" was beaten into the heads of the original DOM working group by the
	browser vendors, which it why DOM supports both the tree navigation
	view and the "lists of lists of lists of lists" view. I'm thinking that
	while "labeled trees" is obviously too geeky, anyone who doesn't understand
	Data Structures 101 is simply not going to have a clue what the "XML as
	a particular type of hierarchical data structure" view is all all about,
	and that's a failure of education that I can't hope to remedy :-) How about
	"a specific kind of 'tree' data structure where every node has a label
	(analogous to the 'tags' and attribute names in HTML).  That's not strictly
	correct (text nodes, barf) but is it understandable by your audience?
	On the "XML as abstract syntax" side of the aisle, I have to agree that
	"metalanguage" is definitely in the realm of geekdom. But how does one convey
	to Joe Webhacker what the "angle bracket thingies" are if there is no
	constraint that they consist of the tags <h1>, <h2>, <p>, <b>, etc. etc. etc.?
	"Language for creating languages" is not quite right in the well-formed XML
	world.  How about "Conventions for defining what is "markup" and what
	is content?
	Yup, it is hard to de-geekify one's vocabulary, that's for sure!  But let's
	be a little more specific about what we can assume about typical web developers
	before wasting any more of our time.  Do they understand what HTML is and that
	it has "elements" and "attributes"? Do they understand the distinction between
	content and markup?  Do they understand the distinction between the HTML
	source text and the representation inside the browser that is manipulated with
	a DOM-like API?  I'm afraid that people will just have to learn these concepts
	in order to have a prayer of understanding "XML" beyond "the secret sauce for
	interoperability that everyone says I need to buy." 
	The xml-dev list is sponsored by XML.org <http://www.xml.org>, an
	initiative of OASIS <http://www.oasis-open.org>
	The list archives are at http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/
	To subscribe or unsubscribe from this list use the subscription
	manager: <http://lists.xml.org/ob/adm.pl>


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

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