Why I Hate Palmtops (was: Re: SGML, XML and SML)

Don Park donpark at docuverse.com
Wed Nov 24 08:01:44 GMT 1999


>And so we come full circle.  Remember, my original comment was 
>that palmtops are okay for shopping lists and similarly-sized
>documents, but that they were torturous for handling anything
>larger - and thus, I could not understand the drive to put an
>XML parser in one, much less the whole "Wireless Web" campaign.  
>See, there is a method to my madness....

Lets try to avoid the circle this time. <g>

The answer is that there are uses for XML other than documents.

For example, XML-based RPC protocol or XML-based e-commerce
such as trading, auction, billing, etc.  None of these involve
information which fit into traditional definition of documents.

Take a phone for example.  Your front office could send you
some notes in XML format so that if it contains a phone number,
the phone can display a small phone icon at the corner of the
message and make the call for you when you press a button.  Your
business card can be stored on your phone so that you can give
it to another person by simply pointing it at his phone.  Another
use might be to receive address information so that you can find it
using cellular tri-angulation or satellite technology.

>And some people would like to have a very portable way to 
>write - more portable even than the average laptop.  I am
>one of those.  Are you actually saying that my computing 
>needs are irrelevant and that nobody should aim a product at 
>this target group?  (FWIW, one of my big uses of my palmtop
>is to jot down things which go into my randomizing routines
>for GOTC - more slogans for the list, fake ad concepts, and
>so on.  I've even been known to write down column ideas in
>the bathroom.  I'd love to be able to flesh those out without
>having to hook the unit back up to my computer to do so.)

I am not saying your computing needs are irrelevant, just
unrealistic at this time.  Someday your needs will be met,
just not right now.  Please have pity on the poor engineers.

>To what end, though?  If you're just reading stock quotes or a 
>shopping list, who really cares what it looks like?  Either the
>purpose behind that is to enable better reading of longer documents
>(which you characterize as "misuse") or it's just feeping creaturism 
>with no point.

You are changing words on me, Rev.  By 'misuse', I meant using
Palmtops to write long documents, not reading.  The purpose of
increasing screen size and resolution is to make reading more
comfortable and to show more information.

>> BTW, I think we are off-topic for this list.
>Perhaps you are - I still want to know what's behind the "XML 
>in a toaster" imperative, and I daresay that's got to be
>on-topic here.  Like I said at the outset, I've heard a lot of 
>talk about *how* to put XML in a cellphone, but nothing at all 
>about *why* to do it.

*sigh*  Sorry about that.  I guess it is not than obvious.  See
above for an example involving cell phones.


Don Park    -   mailto:donpark at docuverse.com
Docuverse   -   http://www.docuverse.com

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