Will XML eat the web?

Simon St.Laurent simonstl at simonstl.com
Thu Jan 28 18:30:40 GMT 1999

At 06:40 PM 1/28/99 +0100, Matthew Sergeant (EML) wrote:
>XML is potentially a web "killer application" in more ways than one. Let's
>examine 2 scenarios - server based XML processing and client based XML

>Processing XML on the client
>This is a much better option, but an option that doesn't always exist.
>However if I'm sending XML to the client, for example a large database of
>products, wouldn't the client machine then get bogged down processing the
>XML? (I don't know - we haven't got that far yet).
>Anyway, I'd like to hear people's comments on solving this potential issue,
>and whether they think choosing XML for the web was a good choice at this
>stage in browser development.

I think document fragments and well-organized information are going to be
key to avoiding bogging down clients.  For some (old) suggestions on what
an architecture implementing this might look like, you could try my essay
'Building the File System Into the File' at
http://www.simonstl.com/articles/filesyst.htm, though I should warn you in
advance that its pretty speculative, and key technologies (especially
XLink/XPointer, querying, and fragment handling) haven't hardened yet.

Overall, I don't think we'll inevitable overwhelm ourselves in a sea of
information, though it's going to take a lot of work structuring both
information and applications to process it.

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