Will XML eat the web?

Tyler Baker tyler at infinet.com
Fri Jan 29 02:50:54 GMT 1999

Adam M Donahue wrote:

> > This gets down to the whole argument of what should XML be _primarily_ used for?
> > The great majority of enterprise/e-commerce applications seem to want to use XML
> > merely as an object protocol for use in returning query data and passing
> > transactions.  The internet crowd wants to use XML for presentation content.
> I think there's a third use for XML as an RPC format.  (See XML-RPC, for
> example.)  But as to the Internet crowd wanting to use XML for
> presentation content, I'm not sure what you mean.  Isn't XML's goal in
> part to separate the presentation from the data.  It's HTML that's given
> us so many browser incompatibility problems today as it is.  Certainly
> XML+XSL (or CSS, or whatever) could be the best of both worlds, but I

This was in general what I was referring to.

> don't think many Web designers want XML merely for its presentation's
> sake.  A standardized HTML, perhaps, but XML should be more than that, and
> I think even the most free-wheeling HTML "hacker" can see the benefits of
> XML beyond merely standardizing presentation.

Well, you can define XML to be any presentation format you like.  Whether you transform
an XML document to another document format via XSL is not the issue.  The idea here is
that XML is used as a document format (such as HTML).

> > Yes it may happen for reasons we cannot predict.  But I think the real problem
> > here is that the DOM itself is just a tree based structure in and of itself.
> > Databases rarely only model data that can be expressed in a tree, but rather model
> > data that is a set of complex graphs which XML and the DOM is not geared towards
> > (minus creative uses of XPointer).
> Is there any work in this area?  Actually, is there work toward an XML
> extension that would more tightly couple it with the graphs you suggest?

Not that I am aware of.  As I said you could creatively use XPointer to get the desired
results.  After all the world wide web itself could be considered a giant graph of
documents in and of themselves.

With respect to using XML as an alternative serialization format for Java, the big
limitation here is that things really break down whenever you try and externalize Java
objects that are not structured in tree form.  Solving this problem is not impossible,
but it certainly is difficult.


xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev at ic.ac.uk
Archived as: http://www.lists.ic.ac.uk/hypermail/xml-dev/
To (un)subscribe, mailto:majordomo at ic.ac.uk the following message;
(un)subscribe xml-dev
To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo at ic.ac.uk the following message;
subscribe xml-dev-digest
List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa at ic.ac.uk)

More information about the Xml-dev mailing list