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RE: [xml-dev] Towards XML 2.0

It determined control over the browser market space and that controlled who owned the front ends to the web that determined and limited the development of all the tools and frameworks since.  Simply, way back when some folk convinced others that web browser = HTML was the paradigm into which all other web applications must be shoe horned for display organization, the tyranny of head/body took over.


The operating system could care less.  The windowing system cares only a little.


HTML is kudzu, brother.  It works because of the decision to make a network browser rely on a fixed tag set that it can just ‘use’.  OTW, it would simply be a style sheet.   James Clark was right at the beginning with DSSSL if you want a system that just works with any markup.


X3D is still working as well:  plugin or native on the desktop.   I prefer the native apps.  I don’t like editing medio datatypes on the server.  It’s clunky.  In X3D, HTML is a contained namespace.   In the new breed of WebGL apps, there could be a seachange.


XML was too tightly ensnared in HTML politics.  You are right about that.




-----Original Message-----
From: Kurt Cagle [mailto:kurt.cagle@gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 2010 7:26 PM
To: Rob Koberg
Cc: Uche Ogbuji; Michael Kay; xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Towards XML 2.0



> First thing: Get the browser builders to allow cross domain loading of
> XML. Without that you might as just bang your head on a post. (even
> with that, you will just be banging your head on a padded post)

That, unfortunately, is the sticking point. The browser vendors don't LIKE XML, nor do they like the XML community. XML adds programmatic formalism, provides vehicles for extending the core language (HTML) in ways that they didn't intend and that they still have to support, adds a layer of complexity to their ultimate goal of making HTML+JavaScript the lingua franca of the web, and challenges their hegemony in this area. They (and I suspect most people here could put faces on that "they") see themselves as the sole stewards of all that is right and holy on the web, and that means that what most people in this community see as ill-formed XML they regard as being the one true, canonical, god-blessed format, and no other document or data format has any reason to even so much as sully the presence of the one holy language. The XML community is seen as a bunch of sanctimonious old men, antiquated poseurs, and apostates. XML is the devil incarnate.

That's one of the central problems with any solution of getting XML on the browser - it presents a challenge to the control that the HTML core group has over standards there. SVG has only finally begun making traction there, and that only because the mobile market was beginning to adopt it - and because <canvas> has not proved as successful as many had hoped, because it has a fairly steep learning curve. XForms is an also ran project on Firefox (despite actually getting a second wind lately) that was fairly unceremoniously booted off of trunk, and it's considered a real threat because XForms is now beginning to shape up to be sufficiently powerful enough to turn XML into a viable language on the browser. XSLT is still at a 1.0 version on the browser because there's no incentive to upgrade it - it similarly makes XML an attractive alternative on the web, especially if the XSLT language improves in power (as it has been doing, dramatically).

I realize that this is a fairly paranoid interpretation, but I'd contend that there's ample evidence to support it (not least of it being that XML's traction in the mobile space, which is not as tightly controlled as the browser, is considerably stronger). Even if you improve XML (and yes, there's a need for improvement there), it will not change the stranglehold that is keeping XML (and most other languages) off the browser.

Kurt Cagle
XML Architect
Lockheed / US National Archives ERA Project

On Tue, Dec 7, 2010 at 7:15 PM, Rob Koberg <rob@koberg.com> wrote:

On Tue, Dec 7, 2010 at 3:34 PM, Uche Ogbuji <uche@ogbuji.net> wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 7, 2010 at 4:06 PM, Michael Kay <mike@saxonica.com> wrote:
>>> I think we need to focus on the greatest need.  I considered responding
>>> to the earlier "hysteria" comment by saying that most folks on this thread,
>>> and certainly James Clark's post were not "running scared" of JSON.  For my
>>> part, I embrace it, and I know quite a few others do who still want XML to
>>> be simplified.
>> I don't think it's a case of "running scared". I think it's a case of
>> trying to learn from JSON how much could be achieved with something much
>> simpler than we have today, but without losing the things we really value
>> about XML.
> Yes.  Exactly.

First thing: Get the browser builders to allow cross domain loading of
XML. Without that you might as just bang your head on a post. (even
with that, you will just be banging your head on a padded post)




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