XML is boring (was Re: coming clean with the SGML crowd)

Peter Murray-Rust peter at ursus.demon.co.uk
Fri Sep 11 17:54:16 BST 1998

At 09:07 11/09/98 -0500, Chris von See wrote:
>I don't really fit into any of Peter's catagories... I'm trying to decide
>whether it makes financial/commercial sense to invest my (limited)
>development funds in this newfangled XML stuff, or if XML is going to find
>a niche somewhere but never get anchored in the general market conscience.

Fully understood and appreciated. And I am facing up to this challenge as
far as possible. I've agreed to give a seminar in London (see
for the program) to businesses to show the value of XML. Any examples of
reality - and thanks to the positive replies - are most welcome as
ammunition. Otherwise they might get the wrong impression about the extent
of interest. And if anyone is interested in coming along :-).

>If visibility and commercial success if what you want, I believe that what
>XML and its related technologies need is a commercial champion - someone
>like IBM, Microsoft, or Netscape that can come forward and put a flag up
>that developers can rally around.  No XML spreadsheet, drawing tool or
>chess set is going to generate success for XML like an evangelical company.  
I also fully accept this. (And really I congratulate the progenitors of XML
in getting so much commercial interest). But we can have more than one
strategy, can't we.

HTML did NOT take off because of a major company - exactly the reverse. It
took off because of a single product (and of course the concept and
language itself). And it released an enormous flood of innovation. Have we
used all that up? I'd hate to think so. Is there nothing left to do over
the web that's exciting? So - yes - chess is a game. But chemistry is for
real. It's not the ideal place to start because it's a conservative domain,
but the applications are enormous. Surely there are many other verticals
where that is true. And a drawing package *will* be a killer when it's
coupled to the right applications. I've got mine - just have to hack the
software first.


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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