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RE: [xml-dev] Lessons learned from the XML experiment

> 'No use crying over spilt milk' is the old saying. It seems to me that just building great things with XML technologies is the thing to do, including perhaps a XML technologies browser
Although it may be heresy here, if that XML browser would load _javascript_ from links in xml, it would be a powerful linked data programming platform.

From: Stephen Cameron [mailto:steve.cameron.62@gmail.com]
Sent: November 11, 2013 18:20
To: Hans-Juergen Rennau
Cc: Costello, Roger L.; xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Lessons learned from the XML experiment

The human element in this story is missing, when you give things to people they tinker, to make it do the things they want it to do, and out of that things evolve (including the language of the street).

That to me seems to be the story of _javascript_, it was invented for a specific purpose, but since then has been tinkered with to get things done. Now that the web has become the 'application' delivery means of choice, it has taken on a life of its own. I think that  Mobile Apps and now JSON based Web-Apps is a software revolution in progress, dramatically reducing the cost of software and disrupting established desktop software markets.

'No use crying over spilt milk' is the old saying. It seems to me that just building great things with XML technologies is the thing to do, including perhaps a XML technologies browser, like the X-Smiles project. It won't be used mainstream initially, but it could be used as a platform for some great things, how about a personal graph database that lives independantly of the social network providers, you just plug into the web and sync it with a copy hosted by a provider. All the pieces exist!!

On Fri, Nov 8, 2013 at 10:05 PM, Hans-Juergen Rennau <hrennau@yahoo.de> wrote:

while I wholeheartedly agree with your first conclusion, I equally wholeheartedly disagree with the second.

A poet wrote ( http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1987/brodsky-lecture.html  ) :

"Nowadays, there exists a rather widely held view, postulating that in his work a writer, in particular a poet, should make use of the language of the street, the language of the crowd. For all its democratic appearance, and its palpable advantages for a writer, this assertion is quite absurd and represents an attempt to subordinate art, in this case, literature, to history. It is only if we have resolved that it is time for Homo sapiens to come to a halt in his development that literature should speak the language of the people. Otherwise, it is the people who should speak the language of literature."

[Joseph Brodsky]

To me, any further words of objection to your conclusion #2 would appear unnecessary.


"Costello, Roger L." <costello@mitre.org> schrieb am 11:31 Freitag, 8.November 2013:
Hi Folks,

XML has been a grand experiment.

Shall we summarize what we've learned?

I see two defining lessons:

1. Data is a first class entity: XML showed the programming world (and the rest of the world) that data is not just confined to the bytes exchanged in subroutine calls, but data is a serious issue, worthy of investing time and money in defining and validating collections of data for exchange.

2. Design for the masses; once the cat is out of the bag, you can't put it back: XML was created for use by the entire world. A technology that is targeted for use by the entire world must be understood by the entire world, which means that it has to be very simple. The XML creators thought they had created a sufficiently simple technology, but they didn't go far enough in simplifying. Since the release of XML in 1998 there have been numerous attempts to create a simpler version, but those attempts, noble as they were, have failed to get any significant uptake by the world-wide community. Lesson learned: when creating a new technology, make it as simple as you possibly can, then simplify it ten-fold. Once you've released your technology onto the web, you won't be able to take it back and simplify it. Instead, someone else will come along and provide something simpler and the world will adopt it, not yours.

Do you agree with these lessons learned? What other lessons do you take from the grand XML experiment?



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