Re: XML: Still Just HypedWebStuff
Len Bullard writes: > Contentious, perhaps, but not false. It isn't what they do; it is > what we do with them and what that costs. What we do can be done > many ways so why should large businesses consider moving away from > working solutions to solutions that require retooling? Again, cost > justify it. I don't think that systems get expensive just because people switch to XML or SGML and keep on doing what they were doing -- the expense almost always comes from trying to do something new. XML and SGML are flexible enough to piggy-back on top of existing systems where such systems are available, but people almost always want to do something different or to try a different way of doing it when they decide to try XML or SGML, and that's where the cost comes. To take one example, imagine that you're managing a custom publishing project. The standard non-SGML/XML way to do this is to assemble fairly large components (sections, chapters, or whatever) using relational databases (where the components are blobs) and/or document-management systems (where the components are smaller documents), and you've probably bought an off-the-shelf package that does this. If (say) you decide to use XML for the assembly templates to make those templates system-independent (and reuse them elsewhere in the system), you have only a relatively small integration problem on your hands. But ... and here's the catch ... you realize that with XML it is possible to customize much further than you already are. You read books and articles and find out that you can customize at the phrase or even the word level, like this (to take a silly example): <p>What <choice-group><choice loc="CA">colour</choice> <choice loc="US">color</choice></choice-group> is that?</p> Wow! That's a lot better than the blunt instrument that you have now, so you run ahead an invest a few $100K in an XML-aware DMS that may or may not scale to your user base and another $500K for a phase-one implementation from an XML consulting house, etc., etc., and suddenly you decide that XML is very expensive. But you're wrong -- it's not XML that's expensive; it's the kind of custom publishing that you're trying to do. It's easy enough to demo this sort of thing on my notebook with ten sample documents, a browser and a couple of Perl scripts, but it turns out to be very hard and expensive to implement in a high-volume, high-performance environment. That's OK if you really needed that configurability, but if you didn't, then it was either your inexperience or gullibility that cost the money, not XML. All the best, David -- David Megginson david@m... http://www.megginson.com/ xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev@i... Archived as: http://www.lists.ic.ac.uk/hypermail/xml-dev/ and on CD-ROM/ISBN 981-02-3594-1 To unsubscribe, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; unsubscribe xml-dev To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; subscribe xml-dev-digest List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa@i...)
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