Regulating the XML Marketplace

Simon St.Laurent simonstl at
Fri Jan 8 18:56:55 GMT 1999

At 11:20 AM 1/8/99 -0600, Paul Prescod wrote:
>I think that our real disagreement is not on technology or potential. We
>disagree on marketing. [...]
>When XML came along, I stopped promoting SGML, XML or generic markup. It
>doesn't need promoting. The meme is out there. It has caught hold. It is
>the leader in various data interchange fields. It can only be displaced by
>something better. So now I don't feel any need to sugar coat the fact that
>XML doesn't allow anything new, it just saves time and money.

Then say that it saves time and money, don't just mutter about how nothing
is new.  Saving time and money sells itself... doing NOTHING sells NOTHING.

>I am going to go so far as to claim that XML evangelism works AGAINST
>connectivity and productivity. Because of the hype we rush out
>specifications without properly aligning them ("data model? no time. do it
>later.") and standardize ideas that have not been proven in the field yet.
>If XML was less of a high-profile standard, we could go back now and make
>some tweaks based on experience.We are also reinventing wheels because few
>people want to take the time to research existing technologies (i.e. is
>OQL an XML query language? If not, how not? If so, do we need XQL) 
>When the XML hype goes away (approx 2 years from now) we will be able to
>take a more careful, deliberative approach to standards-based data

When XML is better understood by a wiser and _significantly_ larger
community we might be able to take a more careful, deliberative approach to
examine how XML fits in the world or doesn't.  If you don't expand that
community, you're going to have the same 30 people in the same room talking
about how a more careful, deliberative approach can do a better job of the
same old thing.

Like it or not, this community needs to be expanded.  The meme may be
contagious enough to survive, but it's not infected enough people and
organizations in a strong enough way for it to grow without a significant
push.  Is there anyone in the XML community who really isn't too busy?
Couldn't use some help getting projects out the door?  If you don't grow
the user community, don't expect the meme to develop.

Simon St.Laurent
XML: A Primer / Cookies
Sharing Bandwidth 
Building XML Applications (March)

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