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RE: Microsoft threat to XML?

From: Steve Donie <sdonie@zycor.lgc.com>
Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 09:28:44 -0500
Message-ID: <462F323275D6D311BA0200805F356C520D8FD9@lgcadev001.zycor.lgc.com>
To: "'David Sheehy'" <dsheehy@mac.com>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
XML can (and should) be used for many things - using XML for this purpose
does not "Hijack" XML standards - it is just using XML in a new way. 
Yes, XML can be used to format data that can then be presented on a web
page. But it can also be used for:
Data Exchange between businesses
Database storage
Inter-application communication
and many other purposes that haven't even been thought of yet.
Basically, some developers at Microsoft saw a need to be able to package
scripts in a more reusable form. They could have come up with a proprietary
way of 'wrapping' the information that clients of scripts need, but they
decided to use an open and extensible standard (XML) to do that instead.
The sky is not falling, and Microsoft is certainly not pulling it down!
p.s. - Microsoft did not 'cause' your impugned lack of accessibility to
computers any more than any other company, and I wish you would stop saying
so. You could just as easily blame Apple - they had the first successful
GUI. Or Xerox - they had the idea for the GUI. Microsoft just happens to be
the company that has developed the most successful GUI in the marketplace.
The people on the ADG team at Microsoft are very passionate about what they
do, and feel like they are doing good things that are advancing the state of
the art. If you wish to belittle their efforts, or look down on their pride
in their accomplishments, please do so after you have done more than they
Steve Donie (ex Microsoft ADG developer)

-----Original Message-----
From: David Sheehy [mailto:dsheehy@mac.com]
Sent: Friday, May 12, 2000 2:39 AM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Microsoft threat to XML?

I found this, relating to Microsoft's implementation of XML: 


scriplets: "Scriptlets are based on XML and script, and are general-purpose
components, useful anywhere COM components are. Initially [IE 4.0] called
server scriptlets (they were aimed at the server), scriptlets are components
written in Extensible Markup Language (XML) and script. XML is used to
define the object, methods, properties, etc., and script to provide the
functionality. Once the initial development began on these new scriptlets,
it became clear that they are not just useful on the server but also on the
client. As a result, Internet Explorer 5.0 Developer Preview release covers
the needs not only of ASP/server developers, but also of client developers."
The <scriptlet> elements contain a <registration> element to register the
scriptlet as a COM component, an <implements> element to specify the COM
interface hanbdler for the scriptlet, and a <script> element to implement
the logic of the scriptlet. 

Now this sounds like they're trying to do a Java/Active-X, and sabotage XML
as an open standard for their own purposes. This worries me, because I
believe XML is one of the last chances we have of getting back to an
accessible, content driven web. IE has already ruined HTML/Java web
authoring process for many, now it looks like it will do the same to the XML

Surely the addition of proprietary code inhibits accessibility, because this
will only run on certain hardware/software combinations. 

Add the that the security risk. Hopefully the ILOVEYOU virus has made people
a bit more wary of the damage that prevalent scripting can cause, when
implemented in the typical insecure MS fashion. However, the company seems
intent on pushing vulnerability into every corner of the web. 

Anyway, that's a (relevant) side issue. The big question is how much are MS
going to hijack XML and plant their COM and ASP rubbish in it? Enough to
make life difficult for accessible content developers? 

Received on Friday, 12 May 2000 10:29:08 UTC

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