XML - where's the beef?

Subject: XML - where's the beef?
From: KMcLauchlan -at- chrysalis-its -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 30 May 2001 10:39:22 -0400

Kevin is trolling again... beware :-)

So, while waiting for something to compile, I browsed
a 2-1/2 year old article:
"Bridging the Gap Between SGML and HTML: The Potential
of XML for Technical Communicators"
by Deborah S. Ray and Eric J. Ray

Among other things, they predicted that within a
couple of years (approximately this past October),
there would be both XML authoring and XML presentation
tools in wide use, much as HTML creation tools and
browsers were ubiquitous in 1998.

So, Deb, Ray and anybody else, what do y'all see
as the current heavyweight XML authoring tools,
and what do you see as the current standard in
XML browsers?

Are there even some suitable tools that are *tending*
toward pre-eminence and widespread use, after the
manner of Netscape Navigator/Communicator and
Internet Explorer (which, at version 5.x doesn't
even have the keyword "XML" in its Help index...)

In one way -- inherent practicality and (relative)
ease-of-implementation -- XML looks (still) so
very promising. In another, it looks like it might
be languishing or hanging-fire, waiting for some
great watershed shove... that hasn't quite shoved, yet.

Yah, I know I can find tons of hits on Google...
but really, we all know that those -- especially
the ones near the top of the list -- represent
only how canny the authors were in selecting
keywords, or in buying their way to the top of
search-engine indexes. That is, they don't necessarily
represent what is the current state-of-the-topic.

What's the poop from the trenches, as we approach
the summer (for us northerners) of 2001?

Who is using what to *make* XML?
What *are* you making with it?
And, what browser/reader do you expect your
audience to use?

Are those that DO work in XML simply using it
as an intermediary step, that nobody ever actually
sees? You haul your documents through further
conversion, to make print or PDFs or HTML pages?
Does XML get read/viewed and appreciated in its
own right, anywhere? Where would that be?
I don't hear people touting an "XML-reader"
equivalent of Acrobat Reader.

Getting back to the Deb'n'Ray article, for a moment,
it seems to me that all the exciting stuff we saw
predicted (embedded video/animation and all that
neatness) has been hijacked by advancing plug-ins
to html pages (Flash, ActiveX, CGI, etc., etc.), thereby
taking the impetus away from XML. That is, XML
could DO it ... but who has any reason to care, out
there in browser-land?

In open-source linux-land, they're only just getting
Mozilla to near viability, and that's simply another
html-and-standard-plug-ins browser. I don't see ANY
hooplah about a soon-to-be-released killer XML
viewing/browsing engine. What did I miss? Or did I
not miss anything, and the expected groundswell is
not quite happening?

Jeez! I do long, rambling trolls, don't I? If anybody
read this far, what are your reactions, opinions,




*** Deva(tm) Tools for Dreamweaver and Deva(tm) Search ***
Build Contents, Indexes, and Search for Web Sites and Help Systems
Available now at http://www.devahelp.com or info -at- devahelp -dot- com

Sponsored by Information Mapping, Inc., a professional services firm
specializing in Knowledge Management and e-content solutions. See
http://www.infomap.com or 800-463-6627 for more about our solutions.

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.raycomm.com/techwhirl/ for more resources and info.


Previous by Author: RE: Make it Pretty - again!
Next by Author: RE: XML - where's the beef?
Previous by Thread: RE: Not-so-great moments in technical writing
Next by Thread: Re: XML - where's the beef?

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads