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Re: What is the rule for parsing XML in a namespace insideHTML

Joshua Allen wrote:

>Enriching with metadata I'll buy.  You can evolve documents to be a bit
>more machine-friendly, but expecting the documents designed for human
>consumption to be equally machine-processable as a purchase order or
>newsfeed is unrealistic.

Hmm, I agree with you up to a point, but a newsfeed is usually material 
intended for human consumption wrapped in a machine-processable envelope 
- the same could be said of HTML over HTTP. Similarly the content of 
image files is pretty opaque to machine-processing, yet it's possible to 
embed useful metadata, as EXIF and XMP demonstrate. Then there is the 
use of out-of-line metadata - although the RSS parcel is complete in 
itself, there is also usually a link to a permanent version of the 
content, about which the metadata  also applies. I'll hand-wave towards 
WinFS and Apple's Spotlight here as well. Whether the mass distribution 
of desktop tools that can make good use of metadata will provide a 
positive feedback loop remains to be seen, I think it's pretty likely.

How does this relate to the XHTML and browser issues? Well for a start I 
suppose well-formed XML content is easier to wrap up as a payload, and 
it's easier to embed metadata in it. Although Jon Udell and others have 
demonstrated how XML-based content  can add another level of 
searchability (through XPath etc), personally I've a feeling this relies 
too much on local organisation to be much use on the web as a whole. 
Basing content on XML like XHTML may certainly be useful locally, but it 
probably is unrealistic to expect it to become the norm on the web.

Perhaps text-oriented content should then just be seen as an opaque blob 
that requires a Postelian viewer, whether the material came from a pure 
XML doc language, XSLT, +CSS or originated in grandma's text editor. 
Metadata can be provided through the delivery mechanism (as in 
newsfeeds) or completely out-of-line (as in many RDF-based systems).





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