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   Re: [xml-dev] human interaction with XML

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[Apologies for the blank post a short time ago. I blame a wilful Send Now button. :) ]

In a message dated 31/05/2003 15:24:11 GMT Daylight Time, simonstl@simonstl.com writes:

Something seems to be changing, though, at least in the questions and
conversations I'm hearing, not to mention the occasional keynote.  XML
has succeeded in becoming ubiquitous, but a lot of people are looking
for better ways to deal with the vast volumes of information that are
now accessible to them. 


Implicit in your post seems to be the idea that most/many will want to work with XML.

I guess I start from an opposite assumption - that most people will

1. not care whether XML is involved or not

2. not want to be exposed to XML at all

Of course, members of this list likely won't take either of those views. :)

For the ordinary guy/guyess out there I suspect that invisible XML is the best XML. An interface that hides XML while at the same time allowing the benefits of XML to be achieved seems to me to offer, for the ordinary guy/guyess, the optimal exposure to XML. In other words no exposure to XML is the optimal exposure to XML.

I was already thinking along those lines when I first saw a beta of Microsoft Office 2003. The XML is basically well hidden .... well hidden in two senses, I guess ... it isn't apparent on the surface and the way the XML is hidden is well done - at least that's my view. InfoPath has impressed me enormously as a way to collect XML-based data from users who don't even have to realise XML is involved or know anything about XML.

So, for John and Jane Doe I think they simply ought not to see, or be expected to see, XML. That, in my view, is the typical and optimal human interaction with XML.

I don't dispute that a few will want to play with XML directly. It's fun - I know that. And it's powerful too - I also know that. But I have to question, just a little, if it's normal behaviour. <grin/>

Andrew Watt


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