Regulating the XML Marketplace

Ronald Bourret rbourret at
Fri Jan 8 16:27:16 GMT 1999

Paul Prescod wrote:

> Because XML alone won't improve anything significantly. At best it can
> save money.

I suppose this depends on whether "XML" means strictly the language (in 
which case I agree) or the use of the language (in which case I disagree 
strongly).  Personally, I think it's meaningless to separate the two. For 
example, the Internet existed before the Web did and I suspect everything 
that is possible over the Web today was possible before it existed -- we 
could just as well have FTP'ed SGML files back and forth. The Web made 
Web-like stuff easy, it caught the public's imagination, and off we went.

Similarly, we can probably do everything that is possible with XML without 
XML, but that's largely irrelevant.  We live in a world filled with humans 
-- not exactly the most rational species ever to roam the earth -- and 
discussing technology without discussing ease of use, marketing strategies, 
development costs, fad factors, and so on is a waste of time if you're t  
rying to figure out where the future lies.

I think XML has a great chance to change the world in the same way the Web 
did simply because it gives us a standard data transport that is likely to 
be widely accepted.  And that acceptance is likely to inspire a whole lot 
of applications that are possible today, but aren't being written for all 
of the human, not technical, reasons.

-- Ron Bourret

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