Re: Real value (was implementing single-source) (Long)
While I have no statistics, my own experience of XML (although
probably more limited than yours) leaves me with little doubt that
it can be used successfully. As I've said, it can complicate design
work, but that's not its focus. So, no dispute there. I just doubt
that it's a universal panacea.
Its potential universality may be in doubt, but if its advantages for
information interchange, document management, etc. in actual
practice will determine how widespread its usage will become.
Moreover, I never stated that XML by itself is a universal panacea.
What XML does is to make it possible to to come up with new
approaches to the solveution of many currently intractable problems. The fact
that XML is under very serious consideration to become the standard
for something as diverse as the biotechnology industry attests to its power.
However, since you've raised the issue, I would add that you make
some fairly sweeping statements about old document management
systems. In particular, I'd like to mention that the statement that
files that are checked out can't be modified by anyone else is
certainly not true under cvs, the system that has been used by
thousands of free and open source developers and writers,
collaborating with dozens of people over the Internet. Linux
includes several tools for adding patches or creating a single file
that incorporates the changes made in several versions.
But, assuming that the documents are being created in some
proprietary DTP format, that requires that all contributors
must have the same version of the DTP software, the same
template, and all the required fonts. That's difficult to
accomplish. If all contributors were checking out XML instances,
it woldn't matter what authoring software they're using, so long
as that software can export XML that complies with the prescribed
DTD. Also the method you describe above still requires the
reconciliation of conflicting edits on the same file, and that
| Nullius in Verba |
Dan Emory, Dan Emory & Associates
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