XML is boring (long --- sorry)

Michael J. Suzio msuzio at anecdote.com
Sun Sep 13 17:03:58 BST 1998

Dave Winer wrote:
> I think the most important thing about XML is that it will give users
> choices.
> If Microsoft, for example, were to store all their Office 
> files in XML then you could use any other tool to 
> work on the files.

This is a far from foregone conclusion.  Sure, it could be encoded in
XML, and the underlying data structure more easily discerned, but
then again, reverse-engineering the Word file format is a doable
task, too.  So the XML encoding makes the job easier, but you
*still* need to have an application that understands the built-in
structuring rules enough to make sense of the data.

MS Office XML file formats are helpful only insofar as they are
well-documented and parseable from an application point of view.
Without that, I can generate a nice tree from JUMBO, but 
what else can I do?  Not a lot...

My point in all this is to point out that *only* well-supported,
public DTDs (and maybe even sample code to parse example instances
of the data) are going to make the big changes happen.  When you
and I agree on what XML spreadsheet data *looks like*, then we're
onto something.

Michael J. Suzio
Interconnect of Ann Arbor
msuzio at anecdote.com / 1-734-665-5342

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