Wed, 2 Feb 2000 10:06:01 +1100 (EST)
At 11:14 2000-01-30 +1100, you wrote:
>InfoWorld: WC3 Announce New Web Standard - XHTML
>In a bid to encourage the uptake of XML, the world wide web consortium,
>W3C, have recommended the use of XHTML, a language which combines
>elements of XML's device independent capabilities with HTML.
Since the issue of XML is being raised, I'm going to share a message I sent
to another list last week that deals with web theory. I'd be interested in
linker reactions to my queries. Am I off base or is there something in it?
So far only one person responded that XML was a 'good thing' and shouldn't
Hi all. There was announcement this week that the W3C has released its
standard for XML. As a result, I began looking for closely at this
has a great deal of info on the subject.
What began to emerge was shift in the whole web away from the simple HTML
situation that I can teach almost anyone to do, back to the exclusionary
days of specialist programmers being the only ones to be able to publish
information again. Even some of the rhetoric is scary:
Backward Compatibility and Benefits
Before we begin, it is wise to consider the question: should you really
learn XML, and begin upgrading your Web site and pages to XML, XSL and all
these new technologies? It is perhaps obvious that there is a lot of HTML
out there and all these Web pages are not going to be converted overnight to
XML. However, even though HTML is subsumed by XML and will probably be
supported by browsers for some time to come, you can realistically expect
that over time, more and more pages will be in XML.
This para was in the Tutorial called An Introduction to XML, in the
There are several things in this that bother me:
the assumption that websites and pages will be upgraded at some point
that browsers will eventually not support html
that more and more pages will be in XML, which means more access problems
unless one upgrades their browsers
that leads to assumptions of upgrades in servers/software to deal with XML
[actually, it appears to be just a change in the MIME type file according to
another FAQ I read]
Is this a case of the 'specialists' seeking to make themselves separate from
and in 'control' of their turf again? Would this [not *will* this]
development exclude the masses from communication again? Is there built in
obsolesence once more, and this time supported by W3C itself in the process?
There is also this statement in the very introductory section of the Tutorial:
In the beginning, there was HTML. It was simple, easy to learn, and anyone
with an editor could create files that were instantly publishable on the
World Wide Web. Unfortunately, users have continually demanded more
sophistication and control over what they wish to publish and browser makers
have responded by introducing a plethora of their own vendor-specific tags
in order to satisfy these needs.
The part that worries me in this is the comment: "USERS have continually
demanded..." Oh? What users are those? Do we ask for slower and slower
downloads? Do we ask for animations that do nothing to add value to the
message? Do we ask for complex and confusing framed sites?
And if XML really does develop, do we ask for the continual upgrading of our
software and our machines? Note that the focus is on publishers above, and
NOT the end users. I guess that indicates who the "users" are that are
Sorry about the rant, folks, but this development may need a bit of comment
or thinking about how it may or may NOT be beneficial to the whole of the
web. Time to write to TBL? [Tim Berners-Lee - his new book is very good, I
would recommend it highly - Weaving the Web]
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
firstname.lastname@example.org -- http://www.primenet.com/~jwhit/whitentr.htm