Opportunities for XML-DEV

Simon St.Laurent simonstl at simonstl.com
Fri Sep 18 18:40:27 BST 1998

Nearly a week ago, Peter Murray-Rust wrote:
>What we have discovered is that there are very few XML documents currently
>being delivered over the WWW. For many of us who see XML as a communication
>medium *and philosophy* this is a pity. I think it makes it harder to
>develop tools to work with specs like XLink, XPointer, Namespaces because
>we don't have example documents to work with. And this is cyclic, because
>those creating documents don't have tools to create documents with and
>don't have people who can read them. So, at the moment we can only talk
>about those applications.

I'm moving www.simonstl.com into XML syntax, though still using the HTML
vocabulary.  All future postings will be well-formed, and sometime soon I
hope to build a supplement to John Cowan's IBTWSH that will allow me to
validate my documents as well.  I'll be posting an article sometime soon
(before October?) detailing what's involved in the transition.

I realize this isn't exactly what most of us have in mind with 'XML over
the Web', but it's an important first step.  Cleaning up the top pages of
my site took about 10 minutes.  Other pages will require more work - yes, I
plan to go back and fix everything except perhaps the 100+ XSchema fragments.

Getting HTML developers used to the syntactic constraints of XML is an
important first step toward getting out the word.  Once we have real
browser support for generic XML, we can start developing more meaningful

Frank Boumphrey wrote:
>Having just finished 'hacking' the IE5 support for XML and the DOM, I am
>amazed. Combined they can be used to retrieve any XML document and can
>display it in almost any form we want on a (IE5 compatible, ah, there's the
>rub!) browser.

If IE5 can display straight-up XML documents, no scripting required, using
CSS for formatting, as Netscape is starting to do, I'll consider changing
my current strategy.  If it's data islands and access via the DOM only, I'm
not supporting it.  (I'll document it, since that's my job, but it ain't
going to show up on my site.)

Simon St.Laurent
Dynamic HTML: A Primer / XML: A Primer
Cookies / Sharing Bandwidth (November)
Building XML Applications (December)

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