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Re: [xml-dev] Too much power? was RE: [xml-dev] 2007 Predictions

As far as I can tell, and I've been listening to Bill Gates almost since 
day 1 (we're approx the same age, which leads to an occasional crisis of 
confidence in abilities) however I can only remember 1 guiding message 
from Microsoft - and that's Bill's vision of the computer as the 
ubiquitous center of our lives  (running his software of course) - in 
our homes, offices, cars, wherever. I don't think that has ever changed 
and almost every Microsoft decision becomes easy to understand in that 

Unlike many of us, particular technologies aren't the point - so XML is 
used if it's useful. If JSON is more useful, use it. If building a XUL 
engine allows a competitor to get some acknowledgment, than don't - 
build XAML; etc.

If the W3C had created a layout vocabulary and if Microsoft adopted it, 
then we wouldn't be discussing some of these things - much of AJAX is 
really about layout. And a good layout engine (as opposed to tables and 
divs which are very clunky and inconsistently implemented) is something 
that is desperately needed. XUL is ok, but has issues with dynamic data 
lengths and is not available for explorer (which means my clients can't 
get on a random pc in say an internet lounge or hotel and use our 
applications). It is at least declarative.

Dojo is still beta and not recommended for production :(

And there's no plans for XAML on firefox (i think, but not entirely sure).

I'm losing the plot here, but you can at least get my frustration as an 
application builder trying to deliver advanced features to a wide 
audience using the web. I agree with Len - in many ways we were more 
advanced 20 years ago.


Michael Champion wrote:
> From: Kurt Cagle [mailto:kurt.cagle@gmail.com] 
> Sent: Saturday, January 20, 2007 4:28 PM
> To: Michael Champion
> Cc: XML Developers List
> Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Too much power? was RE: [xml-dev] 2007 Predictions
> I'm not sure what I said to inspire this very fine rant, but let me respond
> to a couple of points.
>> For years, there are two messages that have consistently come from
> Microsoft - 
> Only two? :-) I would have thought there would be a lot more inconsistent
> messages, considering that nobody below Steve Ballmer is really in charge of
> something as pervasive and multifaceted as XML, and that every team has a
> somewhat different take on it. 
> This reality is not widely appreciated outside Redmond -- there's no grand
> XML strategy coming from the top down, there's a zillion little project
> proposals and bug reports and customer requests and competitive moves being
> noticed and processed bottom up.  If things like SVG or XForms support
> aren't happening, it's a good bet that nobody in a relevant team can make a
> compelling case for spending money on it.  If some customers who need SVG or
> XForms support in the browser migrate to Firefox, so be it -- the whole
> point of XML is interoperability across platforms and applications.  Of
> course if so many people need technologies we don't support badly enough to
> migrate away from a revenue-generating product to get it, that's another
> story entirely.  That kind of thing does happen, e.g. the surge in demand
> for ODF support in Office after Office 2007 was locked down.  Unless the
> competitors spend gazillions of lobbying bucks advocating SVG and XForms as
> the Only Real Standards,  I don't think that is likely to happen.  
>> I think before throwing stones, it would be worth taking a good hard look 
>> at where the rest of the world (Microsoft's potential customers) are going
> to.
> That's pretty much how I spend my pathetic life, and I hear extremely few
> actual or plausible customers expressing the views on the importance of the
> second-generation XML standards that you are espousing.  It appears that
> people want solid, performant implementations of the very basic XML specs
> and tools to make them usable.  The few exceptions, e.g. people voting with
> their feet against IE's stasis or the outpouring of love for XSLT2 (and
> indifference to the old story about XQuery in .NET), convince me that it's
> not just a matter of MS not listening to the customers, or existing
> customers blindly obeying the mind control rays emanating from Redmond.  The
> reality I see is that most of the benefit from XML comes from the simple
> fact that it is the universally supported way of exchanging data.  The
> actual benefits from and demand for other XML-related technologies drops
> very steeply once you move outside geekdom. 
>> If all I'm looking for is a list of scheduled flights sorted by time, then
>> yes, I would choose the first. The point I don't understand here is that 
>> this has nothing to do with JSON or XML - it is a matter of what is
> exposed by the data provider. 
> My point is that the travel *service* is offering a lot more than simply the
> data -- it's combining and processing the data and providing consumable
> answers or physical world actions.  Interoperable data is a Good Thing, but
> it's not the only thing that's important.
>> Put another way (and to get back to your analogy) - I need a certain
> voltage and 
>> amperage to run my computer. I rely upon the energy grid to insure that
> there is 
>> comparatively little variability in the line, and I rely upon a
> transformer 
>> to get just the precise amount of power that's needed to keep my laptop
> happy. 
> At some point in the future, that will be a good analogy.  At the moment a
> more apt analogy seems to be Edison saying "DC current is all you need, just
> learn to live with that clunky generator on every block" ... but there are
> lots of Teslas out there offering more and different kinds of power.  Real
> standards will come along *behind* innovation. As you note most of the W3C
> is doing a good job of accepting and adapting to this reality.  It's the
> people who want to lead with committee-generated standards or authoritative
> pronouncements, as opposed to following up on successful innovations with
> standards, that I object to.
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