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Re: [xml-dev] XML's greatest cultural advantage over JSON

On 4/29/13 4:50 AM, Jirka Kosek wrote:
>  Javascript in browser doesn't have
> usable XML API (DOM is simply ... DOM), but evaluating JSON with eval()
> at that time was very easy (do you still remember E4X?). Also given the
> browser security model you are unable to fetch cross-site XML resources,
> but you can do the same with JSON-P. So with JSON it was possible to
> walk around limitations in browser, nothing more. With better XML API in
> browser and more reasonable security model situation between JSON/XML in
> Web front-end development could be very different.

XML in the browser failed repeatedly, with a number of different 
strategies, even before it had substantial competition there.

* The XML / XSL / XLL stack, effectively a replacement for HTML / CSS / 
JS. (The layering was different, obviously.)

* XML "Data Islands" - a Microsoft idea that never seemed to go far, but 

* Ajax (originally Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), thanks to 
Microsoft's adding XMLHttpRequest to the browser.  It spurred renewed 
interest in XML among web folk - I was suddenly having to re-examine our 
XML book list, too - but XML use there fell first to snippets of HTML 
and then to JSON.

* E4X, which too many people told me would be huge, but never seemed to 
find momentum.

* XHTML, a saga of its own, the place we learned that strict syntax 
isn't popular, and barricaded the notion of extensibility behind 
brilliant but insane modularization.  XHTML 2 felt much more promising 
to me, but perished at the hands of the impatient (and largely 
XML-unsympathetic) HTML5 folks.

* XForms, great stuff in many ways, and used in many applications - just 
not so much on the web implemented by browsers.

* It's been possible for over a decade to create "HTML" documents that 
have XML content of whatever vocabulary you'd like in the body, but so 
far as I can tell, few have noticed.

Have I forgotten more?

I don't think XML has to stay failed, but it probably needs to drop the 
"XML stack" and be content as just plain "markup", mixed into the tag 
soup that so bothered XML purists.  (And delighted a few of them as well.)

I'll have more to say on that (including the API questions) in the next 
few weeks, here and elsewhere.

Simon St.Laurent

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