Friday, April 23, 2004

XML 2004

The State of XML "As a software developer I feel increasingly unhappy with the development of a monolithic mass of technology building up, only reasonably accessible behind a Java or .NET API. In contrast, the REST model of composed, simple interactions seems more controllable and containable and you can still see the angle brackets in order to check that things are working. There is still plenty of work and experimentation to be done yet with the notion of more document-oriented web services."

"Consequently, even at the low level of operating systems vendors are seeing the need and advantages of implementing metadata storage and manipulation.

This is good. We have the tools to support this, whichever way you swing on the technology issues. RDF & OWL, Topic Maps, W3C XML Schema: all have the right machinery. Unfortunately that's not the biggest issue. The main problem is which terms, schemas, and ontologies to use. That's just not clear right now for most if not all metadata applications. At best, we'll get inconsistently classified information, which defeats the promise of interoperability. More typically, we'll end up with little tagged metadata and islands of de facto proprietary information."

"As an RDF fan, the realization of this truth causes me some pain. The way out is to stop thinking of RDF as an XML application, and look to easier syntaxes such as Turtle and N3."
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