Re: Evolution of a markup language: replace recurringpatterns
A couple of notes - XML syntax has not evolved much at all from its inception. On the other hand, its core processing tools - validators, transformers and query mechanisms, have evolved dramatically. XSLT2 is unarguably a better product than XSLT1, but wouldn't have happened without a lot of rethinking about the underlying data model. Ditto XQuery. With the introduction of formal mechanisms for extension in both XSLT and XQuery, that pace of evolution is also accelerating, as it becomes possible to see what constructs are considered to be "basic" and which are framework extensions. XQuery 1.1 is now capable of managing extended mathematics functions, and XSLT2.1/3.0 has integrated streaming, which dramatically raises the stakes.
Indeed, I'd content that the XML world in 2010 is significantly richer in terms of functionality than it was in 2002.
The evolution of declarative components in HTML5 has been done largely by fiat, and has been led primarily by Mozilla and, by 2009, by Google with Chrome. Those changes are welcome - I'm actually quite excited by the contenteditable attribute, for instance, <video> and <audio> treat other media in a manner that is now consistent with <img> (or its alias <image>, which is likely to be standardized in its stead), inline SVG should make for some cool apps and svg in the <image> tag is a definite place. The reality, however, is that standardization upon these tags brought sufficiently significant benefit that there really was very little rationale for not having them given declaratively.
I believe that the next evolutionary wave in browsers will be due to the formal acknowledgement of XBL2 as the preferred mechanism for performing bindings to content. Right now, jquery has become the "de facto" king of the hill with regard to ARIA/AJAX libraries, but these still involve involving scripting within the declarative markup. XBL2 shifts you to a much more fully declarative model, with the behaviors bound to specific tags. In HTML, this will likely create an overlay for the @class or @role attributes, in XHTML this will see a more formal introduction of elements with specific behaviors and semantics as well as presentation.
Similarly, I think that on the XML side, XQuery is likely going to be the dominant technology for determining the future evolution of the language + tech. It's more accessible than XSLT2 for many programmers, it works well in the XML database arena (which I see as an indispensible part of the evolution of this technology) and it can be used more effectively to tie into other systems (such as email, calls to relational databases and so forth) than XSLT can. If you can combine the two technologies (as is increasingly the case) you can get some amazing synergies as well, with XQuery handling the interfaces side and XSLT driving complex presentation, while XQuery also shapes the underlying data to be transformed.
Lockheed / US National Archives ERA Project
On Wed, Dec 22, 2010 at 9:50 AM, Costello, Roger L. <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
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