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   Updating ISMID for Rich Client Standards (WAS RE: [xml-dev] Inside Redhe

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Cool, Rick.  That was a trip through the waay-back machine.  Thank you Mr Peabody!
There actually are some more online materials but your tutorial is excellent.
Fate is right. ;-)  XISMID is not taken AFAIK.  There are two claims for XAML, BTW.
MID was proposed because as Rick notes, it became necessary to specify what
was loosely termed, the View Package.  The IETMDB specified content and some
sequencing and conditional processing, but not the layout.   We needed a means
to get a consistent layout of the screen and to make the behavior portable across
delivery devices.  We knew then that we would not make a soldier drag a desktop
into the field and work on handheld devices was underway.  We did not want to
make the layout so specific that a stylesheet would be needed, but we needed
to interoperate with stylesheets.  We understood event-driving both at the micro
level of the content display and at the macro level of the organization using the
device (there are interesting NLDS aspects to that).  We knew that interactive
equalled programming but that programmers are expensive and bad technical
writers, so we needed a minimum of programming.  MID I yin and yanged between
an object-oriented programming language and a wizard like container language
with some branching logic.  The latter won out in MID I and MID II generalized
the idea.   While IETMs were the focus and the deliverable, most everyone on
the team had their eye on the enterprise applications for very large distributed
hypertext.   There are multiple implementations of MID but I really don't know
where they are now.   MID had been paid for out of US Navy funds and
those disappeared as Bosnia took up the slack in the budgets.   Dave Cooper
at Antech Systems became the ISO ISMID editor and that is as far as the
project got AFAIK.
Rick is completely on target in his presentation.   To apply it now, it would
need some work to adjust it to XML, possibly namespaces, and the web
architecture.   It is worth investigating.
1.  It exists as a standard. No one needs to ramp up or choose an organization.
     No patents apply.  This is a matter of ISO will.  I really don't know who does
     that now, but we know who to ask.
2.  It is the right idea but would need technical updating.  The hard part is to
     keep this simple enough that everyone can implement it.   We had the
     IETMDB mil standard to keep us focused.  External interfaces would
     need to accomodate REST and non-REST architectures.  This is a bit
     like the XML WG:  take something and cut out the unnecessary bits,
     add some bits from lessons learned, and hit the sweet spot.  Because
     it was friendless for so long, the good news is that it hasn't accreted as
     much as SGML had.
3.  Work could start soon and be ready as the rich clients are hitting the streets.
     The timing would be excellent.
1.  Politics.  'nuff said.
2.  Getting a crew to work on it.  This would be an ISO project, it has to
     be international, and it has to include the vendors and the consortia.
3.  If it wanders away from target (More Meta Than Thou - I assure you it
     is very tough to keep the cats in line), it will fail.
-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Jelliffe [mailto:ricko@allette.com.au]
Sent: Friday, November 14, 2003 12:11 AM
To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Inside Redhell: Microsoft XAML Blogger Round-Up

Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:

> [comments on Roman empire elided]
 If you think history teaches or 
informs, study it well.  It predicts XAML will succeed 
not because of conspiratorial forces, but because it is the 
surface language for a complete integrated architecture 
even if it is not itself terribly novel.
I am happy that Len feels vindicated: good ideas don't disappear forever.
We can make intelligent choices.  One of them could be 
to pursue a standard for rich client applications in a 
legitimate international standards organization instead 
of a self-serving consortium.  
My view of standards is that there are basically two kinds of legitimate
standards:  ones that abstract away from all platforms and so can be
retargetted readily and ones that abstract on top of particular platforms
and so make it more efficient to use the particular capabilities of that
platform.  Independent and dependent.

I would say that SGML, HTML, XForms, ISMID, RELAX NG, and
XML Schemas are in the first category, while XAML, XUL, SwiXml
and even Schematron are in the second. 

(This is unrelated to Gabriels' right way and wrong way, or Raymond's
cathedral versus bazaar.) 

I tend not to see dependent technologies as necessary enemies of
independent standards. Rather the reverse: it will be easier to
implement some XISMID (to give it a name: lets pronounce it
"kismet") on top of XAML or XUL than on top of HTML.
> The standard exists. ISO ISMID.  But it is friendless.
People interested in an overview of ISMID and IETM (I eat em= Interactive
Electronic Technical Manuals), there are slides for an introductory seminar
I did for ROC military at
I think it is almost the only tutorial material online.

(It is almost 10 meg, for no good reason, so probably you should
download to disk: we had reports from IE users that they had
trouble with that kind of size.  It is suitable for a 4 hour seminar.
But it will give some inkling of the state-of-the-art for standards-
based, markup-based interactive documents with dynamic interfaces
from almost 10 years ago.)

Rick Jelliffe


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