8/4/02 8:36:04 AM, Mark Wonsil <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>So why is XML better? If one can allow people to get the same information
>from a touch-tone phone, or from a partners inventory system or a very
>up-to-date product spec while they maintain the web site, wouldn't that be
>great? While the Web is big, there's a whole other world that can leverage
>this publication of data. If one takes a higher view, one can takes
>advantage of this data using XML much more easily than trying to pull it out
>of XHTML and DIV tags. Briefly, that's it.
Here's a somewhat less pie-in-the sky real-world problem that could be handled with XML. It was
described in a post a few years back on a Usenet group. The poster was the manager of a
community-access cable TV station, and he and his staff were having to key in the program schedule
information *four* times:
* Once into a word processor for the printed schedule.
* Once into an HTML editor for the schedule on the station's website.
* Once into a character generator for the "scroller" that appears on the channel in between
programs and shows upcoming programs.
* Once into the automation system that turns the tape players on at the right time.
As you might imagine, this was a lot of work and the four representations of the information
sometimes got out of sync. Now if they had been able to create the schedule as an XML document,
they could have keyed it in *once* and applied four different transformations to generate the four
different representations. The first two transformations could be done using purely general, off-
the-shelf tools. The latter two would probably have required some industry-specific tools, but
some off-the-shelf tools like XSLT could be used to convert the schedule (in the form most
convenient for the station staff) into the formats required by the specific tools.