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   Re: Identifying the Top 10 xml Issues.. something with legacy support..

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At 23:23 23/07/2006, David Lyon wrote:
>On Sun, 2006-07-23 at 22:43 +0100, peter murray-rust wrote:
> > >Of course, I'm sure that with your skill-set and influence, you would be
> > >able to pull off anything that you set your mind to and convince
> > >whatever parties you see beneficial to come to the table.
> >
> > More modestly and realistically if 5% of this list come to a common
> > viewpoint here and are motivated to create a spec or realizable white
> > paper then we  will have made a step forward.
>What seems to be very clear is that there are a range of target
>audiences for xml.

Absolutely right. This is both exciting and frustrating. At least the 
following have emerged over the last 10 years:
* encoding of complex documents (this was the original emphasis from 
SGML projects such as TEI and DOCBook)
* non-textual content.  MathML and CML were the first (ca 1998); now 
the whole of bioscience is built on XML
* "data". strong input from Microsoft, IBM etc. ca 1998, with strong 
mapping onto RDBs.
* processing languages such as XSLT
* XML infrastructure (XSD, RELAX, etc.). XML has taken over middleware
* rendering (e.g. SVG. SMIL)
* message passing (SOAP, WSDL, etc.)

I will have missed out many other aspects but in this thread I am 
committed to all of them, not just science.

>Everybody has different coloured glasses. I truly only thought xml was
>designed to carry business data. But then again that is all that I use
>it for.
>But on day one, you learn that if you try to send a '10" Spanner' it
>will get stuck in the works and the whole thing will come to a grinding
>halt. That is until you spend another day on a mailing list learning
>about the &quot thing.
>We need a list of 5 or ten things that need to be fixed or targeted.
>My #1 is more transperently and easily carry business data.

Is there anything essentially different between business data and 
genomic data? They both need to be created, stored, transmitted, 
processed and perhaps repurposed. At a general level they both 
require a formal specification (Schema), maybe an ontology, 
domain-specific tools for precessing them. At one stage I had to give 
a tutorial on Financial Products Markup Language. It really wasn't 
any different in general deployment from genomes.

I can appreciate that security, authenticity and proof of transaction 
will be important but they are not really XML issues. Of course they 
may require the client to be configured significantly differently 
from the applications I am interested in.


Peter Murray-Rust
Unilever Centre for Molecular Sciences Informatics
University of Cambridge,
Lensfield Road,  Cambridge CB2 1EW, UK


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