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RE: [xml-dev] Whither XML ?

On Tue, 2010-11-09 at 09:34 -0500, Costello, Roger L. wrote:
> Hi Folks,
> This has been an illuminating discussion for me. Thank you.
> Here is a recap of what I learned:
> 1. The W3C creates complex client-side standards and lobs them over
> the wall expecting browser vendors to implement them at their own
> cost, in software products from which no-one earns any revenue.

Sometimes the specs come from industry, or from groups needing a spec
for interoperability -- for example, a whole bunch of people very
badly wanted to use SGML on the Web, and the result of that was XML.

> 2. Some of the standards get implemented, such as XSLT 1.0 and CSS.

>  Many of them don't, such as XSLT 2.0, XForms, and SVG.

All of these have been implemented. Dp you mean, "incorporated into
Web browsers?"  If so, SVG has the widest deployment there today of
those three. On the other hand, many smaller client-side specifications
exist -- ranging from the really-tiny, like "associating stylesheets"
which is pretty universally deployed, to RDFa, which is seeing
increasing uptake...

> 3. The browser has become a bottleneck in terms of moving the
> technology forward. We're all constrained to move forward at the pace
> of the slowest browser.

No. We;re constrained to move at the speed of the "slowest" browser in
widespread use. The original design of the Web had (has) the concept of
fallbacks, where you design things to work in environments with a broad
range of capabilities.

One problem with this is that it's a logical, thinking, sort of design,
perhaps more suited to engineers than to graphic designers.

> 4. The browser needs to become a much more open platform, in which the
> browser-maker delivers interoperable extensibility and the rest of the
> community has the ability to decide what gets offered 

I'm with you there :-)  Maybe the next generation of Web browsers will
be written in JavaScript.

When we were designing namespaces, Java was new, and I though that, at
the end of a namespace URI, there'd be a catalogue that, amongst other
things, could point to Java code to extend the browser to teach it
about markup in the namespace.  Java didn't end up being as integrated
as I'd hoped, though, and in any case mine was certainly a long way from
a consensus position.


Liam Quin - XML Activity Lead, W3C, http://www.w3.org/People/Quin/
Pictures from old books: http://fromoldbooks.org/
Ankh: irc.sorcery.net irc.gnome.org www.advogato.org

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