XML and the launch of Chemical Markup Language

Peter Murray-Rust peter at ursus.demon.co.uk
Wed Jan 28 16:16:25 GMT 1998

I have been invited to give a virtual lecture by VEI Ltd and Chemweb Ltd
and I have taken the opportunity to "launch" Chemical Markup Language and
also to promote the use of XML. Details are at:


[Time: 1998-02-04:16:00 UTC. Free registration. Technology required: any
HTML browser, preferably with ECMAScript (= JavaScript). No real-time
audio/video required; all text-based like MOOs] 

The first lecture in this series was given by Henry Rzepa and attracted
several molecular scientists worldwide. I have taken this as a timely
opportunity to promote XML, given that (hopefully) there should be a
positive public announcement at about that time :-) 

The format of Henry's lecture was that he presented a number of slides and
"spoke" to them. A number of panellists were present to comment. The
session then developed to communal discussion on the issues raised, the
whole proceedings taking about 2 hours.  I have decided to present more
slides, but would be grateful for authoritative support on XML. In general
the message I want to promote is:
	- XML is going to happen in a big way
	- XML is the only reasonable way for documents/data over the WWW (OK, I
also believe in CORBA but it's not so amenable)
	- other disciplines are making serious headway with XML; molecular science
needs to catch up.
	- There will be lots of XML tools very shortly
	- XML can do things beyond our current imagining. (For example the virtual
lecture could be given in XML).

If any seasoned XMLers would like to 'come' then I would be grateful for
contributions. Unless you are a pan-dimensional hyperbeing it probably
takes most of your attention for that period, though some people can
multitask. Outwards communication is through scrolling text; inwards is
through HTML-based forms. There is a "room" for invitees who wish to make
comments and I would be grateful for volunteers :-) Whatever else it's fun,
and it's a step towards the future. 

I shall be releasing the "current" CML DTD, which is now fairly lean and
clean and intentionally flexible. Also I plan to have snapshots of JUMBO
and JUMBO-CML in action although I do NOT intend to run these as live
applets :-)

I have taken the XML-WG's goals as a starting point for CML's goals and I'd
also value comments on them when they are released.

If you cannot 'come' to the lecture, the transcript and slides will be
available and there will be an ongoing virtual discussion


Peter Murray-Rust, Director Virtual School of Molecular Sciences, domestic
net connection
VSMS http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/vsms, Virtual Hyperglossary

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