Re: Formatting Objects considered harmful

Subject: Re: Formatting Objects considered harmful
From: Guy_Murphy@xxxxxxxxxx
Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 09:09:11 +0100
Hi Simon.

What you are missing is that my arguements would see a *reduction* of costs
for data, not an increase.

The data I am talking about *costs*. Quality data in large searchable,
categorised amounts costs, whichever vendor you get it from. And costs a
lot. Hence most of the Web isn't even aware of it's existsence. When you
see all those Wired inspired articles about the information rich and the
information poor, this is the stuff that makes those articles a reality.

What I am suggesting is that the XML + XSL/XFO goes *some* way, not all the
way, to make it safe delivering this data into a more open environments,
thereby upping the scale of the market (drasticaly), and thereby reducing
the costs significantly. To the point whereby advertising alone, *may*
cover costs.

This arguement isn't talking about bringing new costs to already accessible
data. It's talking about making available the data mountians that the large
corporates can only afford, to the general public. Large medical databases,
exhaustive market analysis etc etc.

This doesn't take away anything from the potential of XML, and in that
regard I don't believe it has been oversold. It certainly makes life a lot
easier for the developer. And if you're paying for a raw feed, or you're a
reseller, you can get the raw XML piped straight to you.

What you have to realise Simon is for a long time now there hasn't been one
Web (it's arguable as to if there ever was one), with most business
activity occuring on intra/extranets. What I'm suggesting allows things to
move to a somewhat more open unified Web thatn currently exists.

And at the end of the day.... how many of the general public give a damn
about the semantics behind the article they're reading?



xsl-list@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx on 04/29/99 01:05:35 AM

To:   xsl-list@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
cc:    (bcc: Guy Murphy/UK/MAID)
Subject:  Re: Formatting Objects considered harmful

If that's genuinely the case, it seems that XML has been grossly oversold
as cure for the problems of the Web.  I find it highly ironic that XSL,
with its transformations and formatting objects, is so readily capable of
blocking the move toward a meaningful Web that XML was supposed to provide.
 Given that the same group of people seems to be involved in both specs,
the irony is even greater.
The W3C does claim to be the keeper of the Web in some important respects,
and XML did seem to be a key part of that vision.  Tim Berners-Lee
regularly speaks about making search engines and agents actually usable
with the assistance of XML, and I can't say I see how this business model
will square with that dream.
Saying that it doesn't matter if XSL contributes to a dumbed-down Web seems
to ignore the fact that XML was supposed to make that Web smarter, not
stupider.  Given the choices between the Web today and no Web at all, I'll
certainly take the Web.  Given the choice between the Web today and a Web
with meaningful information, I'll take the meaningful Web.  XSL seems to be
making the latter option more difficult, not easier.
>You cannot watch "Sports Night" without commercials either. It is an
>annoying business model but it is a business model that allows me to watch
>sports night.
We already have advertisements, which seem to occupy about 50% of my Web
visits. If selling semantics is going to be a viable business model, we'd
better get back to those micropayments...
Simon St.Laurent
XML: A Primer
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