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Re: [xml-dev] Memorable quotes from Balisage 2013

On Sun, Aug 11, 2013 at 6:02 PM, Gareth Oakes <goakes@gpslsolutions.com> wrote:
On 12/08/13 2:48 AM, "David Lee" <dlee@calldei.com> wrote:

>My *personal* take on this "XML is dead" hydra ... Is that XML is no
>longer 'sexy'.
>The new generation(s) want to build exciting web pages/apps.

I think what's great is that XML is now so pervasive that it is an
"unsexy" commodity. Clearly XML has given the IT industry in general a
good solid platform to build on in many areas. This should be applauded:
as a standard XML has done its job with aplomb.

Agreed. I've seen a lot of anxiety about e.g. XML vs JSON and I don't understand it one bit. XML is no longer as visible as JSON, but so what, really? XML is everywhere, absolutely everywhere; it's just buried deeply in the details.  The fancy Web apps which are going to JSON, and that community are a drop in the bucket of the wider informatics space where use of XML still dwarfs use of JSON, and of course CSV dwarfs both.

I do understand that XML had ambitions of ruling the Web, and of course it did not succeed in that.  Again so what? The Iberian explorers didn't discover an eastward passage to India, so they had to make do with a whole new world to plunder.  XML has had more than enough successes to offset its most visible failure.

So XML experts (I included) are bemoaning the reduced opportunities that are centered on XML expertise.  Well, guess what, there are no opportunities at all which are centered around JSON expertise.  We're lucky to have had our few years, and much of our grousing is just grass-is-greener misapprehension.

For those looking to the next generation of systems which blend rich
content with rich user experience then I think we still have a ways to go.
Like a pendulum, popular interest has currently swung away from structure
to the presentation side of things (evidence: html5, css3, jquery plugins,
etc.). What is the backswing going to look like?

Another good observation. I think this might have to do with the NOSQL revolution and developers in a gleeful hurry to throw off the BDSM shackles of SQL and strongly-typed languages.  While I'm no fan of BDSM-style data structuring, I also agree that the current trend has gone too far in balling up model, view and controller into one plate of spaghetti. There will be a backswing, and I don't claim a crystal ball on it, but I will say that for a decade now I've been working on XML technologies that combine reliably expressive structure with a modest degree of typing-by-description.  I think John Cowan's Balisage presentation gave another glimpse at this sort of approach, and I think there could be a small chance we could shoe-horn our ideas into this opening you describe.  One can always hope!

Uche Ogbuji                       http://uche.ogbuji.net
Founding Partner, Zepheira        http://zepheira.com

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