RE: The failure to communicate XML - and its costs to e-business
> From: Simon St.Laurent [mailto:simonstl@s...] > [...] > I'm pushing people toward Common XML core as a foundation: > http://www.simonstl.com/articles/cxmlspec.txt I've found that to be very useful. I view it as a sort of distilled experience and expertise -- guidance to new generations of XML developers on avoiding some pain, from those who have already dealt with the pain. I also found the threads on this list regarding best practices with XML-Schema to be quite valuable. Keep this stuff coming! > Yep. Giving people a map to the specs they might need > someday seems wiser > than teaching them the details. That's essential, but it has to come from the perspective of a particular use of XML technology. It can't come from a general perspective on XML techologies. Right now, we are still deep in the hype curve and the focus is too much on the technology without any clear differentiation (XML is revolutionizing "this" and XML is revolutionizing "that"...). I think many folks coming to this technology feel daunted and frustrated because they know there is stuff related to what they are doing, but when they join this list or go to xml.org or xml.com or w3.org to try to learn "XML", they become overwhelmed. The immediate response is frustration and complaints about the loss of simplicity. Many on this list get defensive about it, but I think this is a very human and understandable reaction. I feel for people who are just starting to approach these technologies. I think many on this list don't really have a good sense of what a challenge it can be for someone just to figure out which of the specs are relevant to their needs. On the other hand, those who complain about fragmentation and the loss of simplicitly don't have a good grasp of the breadth of problems being solved by it all. It all gets lumped together as "XML", when it is really a rich plethora of solutions to varied problems that happen to share XML as a common foundation. One approach to handling this is for individual organizations that are trying to leverage XML to pay greater attention to internal education and mentorship. In most of my previous occupations, I've seen this to be something that is consistently underemphasized or ignored. You see new people all of the time struggling and repeating the same pain that others before them have struggled with. At my current employer, this has become a big focus. I'm working with others to provide a roadmap and tutorials for folks so they know what to focus on and don't get overwhelmed. There's a strong emphasis on mentorship here, too. That makes a big difference. Most "e-businesses" could afford to put a little more resources into educating their own people. > And yes, I do see some 'real' RDF work out there. I'd be very interested in hearing from folks on this list about real world implementations of RDF that they can share -- especially any novel applications other than putting the ubiquitously-mentioned Dublin Core metadata in documents. I'm fascinated by RDF but have had a hard time finding implementations that can make tangible in people's minds the potential and significance of RDF.
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