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Subject: Re: The key Benefit of XML?
From: "Simon St.Laurent" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:General discussion of Extensible Markup Language <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 28 Sep 1998 08:50:12 -0400

text/plain (31 lines)

At 09:26 AM 9/28/98 +0100, Chris Senior wrote:

>Now, I don't want to sound negative but...
>Surely if you fragment current search engines into topic areas, you would
>get cleaner results from searches. So it's not really XML only technology.
>But of course using XML would (I assume) be far, far better than that.

XML would provide those specialized search engines with a clue about what
they were looking at.  I don't think it's sensible, practical, or
especially useful for AltaVista to have a catalog of 50,000 DTDs covering
every known aspect of the universe and try to make guesses off that in a
general way.  I'd rather see a specialized tool that understands a smaller
set of DTDs very very well, and that catalogs only documents in that DTD
set.  (This could still be hundreds of DTDs, but it's an order of magnitude
or two more focused.)

In this scenario, you get the full benefits of both an understanding of the
documents (thanks to XML syntax) and a more restricted (likely useful) set
of documents to search (thanks to the search engine limiting itself to
documents it understands.)

At least that's my dream.  I don't think it's too negative.  There will
still be room for large search engines, with maybe a little more smarts
than they've got now, because there is still a need for general searches.
Hopefully, though, we can have some smaller and more useful tools as well.

Simon St.Laurent
Dynamic HTML: A Primer / XML: A Primer
Cookies / Sharing Bandwidth (November)
Building XML Applications (December)

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