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When XML was SGML and not well-liked by the programming
community, the documentation and hypertext communities that
did like it conceived of many extraordinary uses for it.
When SGML became XML and was well-liked by the programming
community, most of those extraordinary uses dwindled as the
programming community was as it always is, absorbed in the
minutiae of tools and syntaxes, content to treat it as
bits on the wire, not as a fertile ground for extraordinary
uses. Thus to the world at large, XML became plumbing, a
dull subject and mostly one that is well understood.
I cannot conceive of a commercial like the one for faucets
where an attractive venture capitalist is shown a software firm.
She places a chunk of XML down on the table in front of a CTO
and asks, "Can you design a business around this?"
But I think perhaps someone will.
From: Michael Champion [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, November 04, 2005 7:21 PM
Thanks, I'd heard rumors about this presentation but hadn't seen it. Really
thought provoking ... especially if contrasted with Adam Bosworth's almost
diametrically opposite position expressed in
The way I (perhaps crudely) would characterize the positions are that Adam
thinks that XML/RDF is too complex to be useful, so "worse is better"
things like HTML for text and RSS for data will become the mainstream
technologies that are more derived from XML than really applications of
generic XML. Dana agrees that XML is too hard for mainstream developers to
process, so we need better tools and some fixes to XML to make it more
I find myself more in Dana's camp than Adam's, but believe that XML/XQuery
features will be absorbed into programming languages rather than vice versa.
I do like her points about making XML more graph-friendly with links as
first class citizens, but the implications could get messy ....
Her points about declarative processing of XML are particularly interesting,
but contrast them with Anders Hjelsberg's discussion of the evolution of
mainstream languages to be more declarative in