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Re: Tim Bray on "Which Technologies Matter?"

bray technologies

Elliotte Rusty Harold wrote:

> Maybe we have. I don't know that anybody really expected that users
> with working SGML systems would throw them away to start afresh with
> XML. However, how many new projects involving XML have we seen in the
> last 5 years? It seems to me that anything starting now is based on
> XML rather than SGML.

It depends what you consider a project to be - legal publishers are still marking
up new pieces of legislation as SGML, DoDs are marking up helicopter data,
airlines are marking up aircraft data. Many of these are new projects in SGML,
designed to connect with their existing data.

> Perhaps some of the old SGMLers who predate XML have a different
> perspective. Are you seeing any new SGML projects these days?

Of course - new SGML projects are starting all the time. Companies that have
invested in SGML data have not undergone total entropy, despite recent reports. If
the question was whether companies with no baggage were chosing SGML or XML, the
answer would be almost unanimously XML - no question. But that's because they're
looking for more than a stable storage model - they want some of the cool things
and free tools that XML offers. Nothing wrong with that.

For other organisations, there is no need to be dynamically feeding their website
- their data usage and requirements are less immediate, they have systems in place
for structuring data and they have release schedules measured in months or years,
not hours. Nothing wrong with that either. When their requirements change and they
do need to use the data differently, they'll spend the half a day turning their
SGML into XML. Those organisations regard XML to be similar to HTML - it is the
repurposing of data for a specific deliverable. It may not be very popular to
consider XML as just another cog in the gear, but for many organisations, that is
the case. The thing about gears is that no cog matters more or less than any

As Len says, it's all markup.


Marcus Carr                      email:  mcarr@a...
Allette Systems (Australia)      www:    http://www.allette.com.au
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."
       - Einstein


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