Re: XML - where's the beef?

Subject: Re: XML - where's the beef?
From: Chris Despopoulos <cud -at- telecable -dot- es>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 01 Jun 2001 00:04:11 +0200

I feel the need to clarify what I said in a previous post...


My experience as a software engineer and project manager leads me to
believe the aim of XML is much broader than to merely dumb down SGML.

Note that I said the *initial* aim of XML. Basically, dumbing down SGML amounts to making it work without a DTD. And some of the more arcane features of SGML were dropped. Then again, some other features were added, and XSL looks like a way to "smart" it all back up again. But the *initial* goal, as I understand it, was a sort of SGML for the people.

Systems that must exchange data on any level, not just B2B, often require
massive and expensive conversion and translation efforts due to the large
number of data "standards" and formats in use (or in existence, as
historical data frequently must be converted from extinct "standards" or
proprietary formats). This occurs daily in medical records, billing, claims
verification, sales, banking, modeling, you name it...any transaction
between databases.

And also in the military. The military had lots to do with the birth of SGML, as I undersand it. The initial aim (note, I said *initial*) of SGML was to provide a format that was not tied to any proprietary system. In other words, just what you said. I harp on B2B because that seems to provide an impulse the MBA's of the world can understand. They get $$$ spinning behind their eyes, and suddenly there's money for development.


Enter XML. An ASCII-based, fat, flat file format. Old hat.

My point is, SGML already entered with the same thing... In the 80s.


It will cost
billions of dollars for system upgrades, schema conversion, and re-coding or
replacement of applications and interface engines (contrary to much of the
marketeering poop being spewed by XML proponents).

My point is, for systems already invested in SGML, that cost will not be nearly so high. And examples of the advantages already exist.


The thought that XML may kill Java is premature. I believe each will find a
niche and survive, but it is too early in the game to say.

I hope I didn't say XML will kill Java - I certainly didn't mean to. I said .NET and C# will *try* to kill Java. (Or at least that's what I meant to say.)


As a network engineer for the past 12 years, the bandwidth issue is pure FUD
(fear, uncertainty, doubt).

Well, I can't say exactly one way or the other. All I can say is what I have heard others say. It seems the XML B2B transactions are too slow at present. That's just what I hear. It would make me happy to learn I've been lied to.

Just trying to keep my side of it clear, for the record.

Cheers cud


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RE: XML - where's the beef?: From: David B. Stewart

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