Tech questions: "Can XML cure world hunger?"

Bill la Forge b.laforge at
Thu Mar 18 20:25:01 GMT 1999

From: John E. Simpson <simpson at>

>>>How do you build a high performance, fast loading web interface that has the
>>>speed of HTML, but the screen design flexibility of Java applets?  Also
>>>that you are in an environment where you are not able to pre-load
>plug-ins which
>>>would help the applet loading.

My interest in XML is largely centered around program composition. Case in
point, using an XML file to assemble Swing components into an interactive GUI.

A lot of Swing programming is the glue code for assembling components. This
tends to be hard to read, consequently hard to maintain, and weaved together
with small smatterings of application logic. But it is inherently tree structured.

Replacing that glue code with an XML-document driven composition system
means that you have a easy to read (compared to the glue code) document
which naturally reflects the tree structure of the GUI. It also means that, aside
from a small XML document and a little bit of application logic, the only thing you
need to download is the composer--which is fixed for all applications. Also,
you don't need to download the Swing components, which can be used unmidified
and which should already be present.

BML, Bluestone, and MDSAX are three different implementations to this general


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