XML in Infoworld
This just in.
It's clearly going to be an uphill struggle to explain that we're not
trying to replace HTML.
On the other hand, it sure is nice to see all those big companies
endorsing our effort. :-)
Subject: W3C preps markup-language standards despite Netscape's snub
A new Web standard is brewing that could help users better manage
mountains of Web documents -- but the lack of support by market leader
Netscape could dampen the standards-making process.
Members of a World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) committee are in the
process of writing specifications for Extensible Markup Language
(XML), a new version of HTML that provides methods for defining
Web-based content in a more granular manner than is possible today.
The committee will present XML to the Web Consortium at its April 7
meeting in Santa Clara, Calif., and a new standard could be approved
by late June or early July, said Marion Elledge, vice president of
information technology for the Graphic Communications Association, a
trade group that promoted Standard Generalized Markup Language, the
father of HTML, and now supports XML.
The drive behind XML is that HTML tags offer limited capability to
define data. XML is a methodology that will allow Web publishers to
create new tags in a standardized manner. The tags would allow content
to be searched by document structure or content fields, as well as by
text strings, as is done today.
For instance, an automobile manufacturer could use XML to define tags
for automobile parts so that content developed for a Web-based catalog
could be extracted and then reused later to create an owner's manual,
Other supporters of XML are Digital, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, JavaSoft,
Microsoft, Novell, Spyglass, and Sun. But notably missing is an
endorsement from Netscape, which stated that it believes the
extensions are not needed.
One expert said Netscape's holdout highlights a classic standard's
effort dilemma: the struggle to find common ground among vendors
vs. the market leader's desire to assert its influence by developing
its own additions.
"Netscape has been trying to drive the market through proprietary
extensions for some time," said Clay Ryder, an analyst at Zona
Research, a Mountain View, Calif.-based company that tracks Internet
However, the Netscape extensions have helped drive innovation so a
standards-based approach isn't necessarily the only right way to go,
The Graphic Communications Association, based in Alexandria, Va., can
be reached at (703) 519-8160 or http://www.gca.org/.