Re: IBM's idea off an XML expert
On Sun, 5 Jan 2003 10:09:35 -0500, Simon St.Laurent <simonstl@s...> wrote: > > I suspect more emphasis on educating people in the first place would be > a more productive use of time than working on certification of any form. FWIW, I suspect that we need time (measured in years) to figure out which parts of the XML corpus are worth educating people about (and certifying the status of their education) before we worry too much about this. There are thousands of pages of "XML" specs in various states of Recomendation- ness. Which are worth knowing, if you are a software developer not directly involved in the XML racket? I don't think we have a clue, beyond the hard core of XML and probably XPath/XSLT. And the subset worth knowing depends on what you are planning to do with the XML. Rick's example of cacheing parameter entities has a lot of relevance in that corner of the XML world where big DTDs are relevant, but obviously not to the corner of the world based on SOAP. Conversely, most of the raw bulk of the XQuery spec describes the type system, but can be safely skimmed over by those in the document world where almost everything is a String (or some type that can't be fully described in XSDL). Not to mention the uncertain status of various specs. Should Certified (Certifiable?) XML Professionals be expected to know RELAX NG as well as the minutiae of W3C XSDL? SQL-XML as well as XQuery? It would be hard to specify "objective" criteria ... e.g. SAX has no formal status as a "standard" but is obviously something that any programmer working with XML should have some familiarity with. There are W3C Recommendations (XLink comes to mind, <duck>) that could be ignored on a certification exam without doing much damage to the world's productivity.... Even Microsoft's blessing of XSDL as the One True Schema Standard could be rendered moot (for the purposes of the discusssion here) if some little Office plugin that lets the user write their schemas in RELAX NG and converts them to XSDL becomes widely used to make "XML" palatable to end users. We shall just have to wait and see. I'm happy to let evolution take its course ... if knowledgeable software developers can (as I expect they can) learn all that they really, really need to know about XML in a few hours and pick up the other useful bits as the need arises, so be it. I think most people learn the bare bones of SQL, HTML, and other really really successful software technologies in a few hours and then spend the rest of their careers plucking additional nuggets out of the stream as required. That leads to a lot of bad databases, webpages .... and XML systems, but Father Darwin provides a nice elegant solution to that problem :-) And if the "bad" stuff doesn't graciously die out, maybe something about it wasn't so bad after all.
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