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Re: [xml-dev] Re: Native XML Interfaces


In 2009 I was ready to write off SVG as a standard that failed. Today, the only reason that SVG isn't more widely used at the web application layer is legacy browsers, and over time I think that problem will go away. What changed? Canvas was backed by the WHATWG group as the uber solution for graphics on the browser, yet developers kept coming back and saying "That's nice, but I really kind of need SVG."

Yesterday I had lunch with a couple of engineers from Boeing. They were well on their way to having sophisticated circuit diagram applications rendered in SVG being done - technically it was a fairly easy problem to solve, given the scale. However, they were fighting DoD requirements that mandated supporting a ten year old browser specification with no plugins. This is a time frame problem, and one that ultimately I think they'll be able to work around, especially as they are able to offer the advanced technology to other customers.

XForms has been a thorn in the side of the WHATWG for a long time, primarily because it ran very much counter to the prevailing mantra of "JavaScript uber alles". Except for a few key partisans, it is virtually forgotten. Instead jQuery solutions have achieved near uniform dominance, in part because it fit most closely into the dot-notation paradigm that so many web developers have been convinced is the way to write such applications. I'm less optimistic about its future, even though XForms 2 is moving towards working with JSON as well as XML, but I still feel that it nicely solves a whole class of problems that the endless proliferation of other frameworks don't.


Kurt Cagle
Invited Expert, XForms Working Group, W3C
Managing Editor, XMLToday.org

On Sat, Jun 1, 2013 at 9:37 AM, Liam R E Quin <liam@w3.org> wrote:
On Fri, 2013-05-31 at 21:08 -0700, Lauren Wood wrote:
> On Fri, May 31, 2013 at 7:45 PM, Liam R E Quin <liam@w3.org> wrote:
> >
> > Standards bodies are not really needed until there are multiple
> > implementations and a spec is in demand by users. Vendors benefit from
> > incompatibilities until the users insist on standards.
> >
> Which was the case for the DOM way back when, or has everyone forgotten the
> browser wars?

One of my favourite poets, Steve Turner:

History repeats itself.
Has to.
No-one listens.

(the poem was repeated two or three times in one of his poetry books)

However, to be clear, it's XML DOM that hurt XML, not the HTML DOM, and
a significant part of that is that the difference between working with a
fixed and an open vocabulary.

I don't think the DOM itself failed (and didn't mean to imply that), and
in a way the XML DOM succeeded - it's widely implemented - but the
tedium of using it set many programmers' hearts against XML. The lack of
implicit dispatch hurt it considerably. But yes, one has to remember the
state of the art of Web browsers at the time, with NCSA Mosaic and
Netscape Navigator using a flat linked list to represent the document,
with start and end tags turning into separate "commands" like "end bold

Of course, arbitrary XML in the Web browser was scuppered by
. lack of XSLT and JavaScript integration (a W3C #fail, "we didn't do
. no simple way for web crawlers to know how to index XML documents and
produce meaningful snippets (collective #fail)
. no way to include JavaScript in non-XHTML XML (financial #fail,
because you can't put ads or tracking code in the XML)



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 freenode/#xml


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