This note is probably on a
somewhat different topic . It deals
broadly with issues for future XML standardization efforts.
During the last
decade there has been an amazing development of XML based standards and of the
capabilities that they can support.
However many of these are in limbo, many are not supported, others are
poorly coordinated, inconsistent, and overly complex. For new capabilities the development
and, more tellingly, the adoption cycle is long and complex.
At one time,
there was a considerable simplification made in going from SGML to HTML. This simplification also allowed for a
development of greatly expanded capabilities. It seems that now is the time for an
analogous effort in transforming XML with the objective of also leading to
considerable simplification and expanded capabilities.
Clearly there are
issues of syntax simplification which can be addressed. More fundamental though are semantic
The first insight
here is that XML standards generally support various models, including models
for other models. Fundamental
generic models to be supported with broad and consistent capabilities are
application models for data( physical and logical views, metadata, etc.), for
presentation(HTML, Open office, SVG, CSS, etc.), for communication and for
control (data and work flow, state machines, etc.). As with the Model/View/Controller
paradigm, these together can provide a complete, unified and consistent
framework for application development.
insight here that these models are based on a specification language, rather
than a procedural language, and that, as a specification language there are
considerable improvements that can be made to XML fundamentals to ease
development and interactions among these and other models. For instance it should be possible to
deal with schema, style sheets, metadata, data content, etc. in a common and
Basically then this is a
recognition that what started as a âmarkupâ language can serve well as a
here then is to create a complete and consistent specification language that
forms the basis for developers to create executable application frameworks based
on generic models for data, presentation, communication and processing. A secondary objective is to create a
base whereby it is simpler to develop and adopt new standards.
In that this
is meant to be a somewhat revolutionary approach, a primary concern is
compatibility. This needs to be
addressed; for instance, with alternative language processing and through
extended and alternate âinfosetsâ which can be supported by a common agent.
Much of this is outlined in more
detailed documentation that is under development and can be made available.
This note is to
inquire if there is interest in the community in pursuing such a fundamental
look at approaches for the further development of XML standards.