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Re: IBM's idea off an XML expert

ibm big idea
From: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@s...>

> I still don't count myself an XML expert after five years in this
> treacherous muck, and I certainly wouldn't count anyone who had taken,
> even passed, a test offered by IBM as an expert.

On the other hand, without certification schemes to provide a basic QA that
your human is up-to-speed, it is difficult to imagine that the current generation
of XML tools can get much deployment --  the 2003 generation (Office 11 etc)
will have the same problem that the products of the previous product cycle
(the B2B bubble) had: not enough skills to take maximum advantage of it.

I had do some consulting for a financial institution a couple of years back: they wanted 
to move all their parameter entities of their acceptance-testing DTDs into a single big 
file because of performance reasons: they felt they were not technically competent 
at that time to  write a little caching entity manager which would have actually
fixed their problem. To me it seemed a trivial matter: after all, that is what
Open Source software, which they were using, allows; but to them it was "just
one more thing."

Certification by reliable bodies is the only way an exploding technology can be
taken advantage of, for many companies.  I used to teach SGML courses and
then XML courses, and I found the XML students had very different mental
furniture to the SGML students, which I think Simon also points out in this
thread.  I have found that people who learn XML on-the-job often have 
very great deficiencies: I think the areas of namespaces and encodings
are the two that most commonly seem to stump people (or where they
blaze ahead wrongly). 

I guess what would be great would be a WebStandards project to certify
the certificates!

Rick Jelliffe


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