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Subject: Re: XML community outreach(was Re: XML on the Web and Office 2000)
From: "Simon St.Laurent" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:General discussion of Extensible Markup Language <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 6 Oct 1998 09:00:23 -0400
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At 05:30 PM 10/5/98 -0500, Brian Grant wrote:

>What I'd really like to do is get down to business here. Let's get some
concrete,
>working examples of XML doing all of these things that it is theoretically
>supposed to be able to do. I really want to see it in action, see the
behind the
>scenes duties that XML performs in order to deliver on its promises. I
really,
>really want to learn about XML, not watch others argue about it.
>
>What can it do? Is it doing it? How can I make it do that?
>
>I think i'm on the right list serv for that....but perhaps not.

Well, part of the problem is that XML remains an enormous construction
site.  Most of the concrete is still being mixed, and only the basic
foundations have really been laid.  As Peter pointed out, you can go take a
look at what SGML is doing, though I think you'll get a very different
picture from many of the directions XML seems to be headed.  I know of two
Web sites that are up and running using XML transformations to HTML:
(Please let me know if I'm wrong, folks!)

http://www.xmlinfo.com/ (plus sister sites xmlsoftware.com and schema.net)
and
http://www.ncfocus.com/

Most of the rest remains in the announcement stage, except for fairly
low-level programming tools (parsers and other supporting tools) on which
the rest of the structure is (slowly) being built.

For the most part, the "How can I make it do that?" at this point involves
picking up a shovel and helping the rest of us - vendors, document authors
and designers, and other developers - build the infrastructure needed to
make XML a reality.  I'm writing books, hoping to widen the group of people
who can work with these tools, as are a fair number of people around here.
Others are developing new tool sets, and some are even building
applications... slowly...

I wish it was easier than that... can't say I expected things to take
nearly this long.

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

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