W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-archive@w3.org > February 2001

Re: where is XML used?

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2001 09:21:54 -0600
Message-ID: <3A952E92.53C2C778@w3.org>
To: "Jabbour, Gus" <Jabbour@BATTELLE.ORG>
CC: webmaster@zvon.org, james@xmltree.com, www-archive@w3.org, w3t-pr@w3.org
"Jabbour, Gus" wrote:
> Hi Dan,
> I don't mean to bother you or waste your time.  I read your policy about
> contacting you so you don't have to answer if you don't want to...just reply
> back and say I have no time for you.

Nahh... this falls under "Well-researched questions are welcome,"
especially since it points to some improvements we could
make in the W3C web site.

I'm copying www-archive@w3.org, a public archive,
so that I can point other folks to it; sorry to do that without
your permission; I should have reserved the right to do so on
my home page; I presume you don't mind...

> I am a Ph.D. student and working on a class project.  I picked the topic of
> XML because I did not know much about it.  I read the literature and it
> described it as a very nice thing with the way you define your own tags and
> therefore the data becomes meaningful.  Other applications or intelligent
> agents can search the XML code and get what they are looking for.
> So my impression was that I am now going to go to the Web and find many
> sites that are built with XML with the XML code visible by viewing the
> source.  To my surprise I haven't found a single site that uses XML.

Well, my home page is XML, as are most of the actively-maintained
pages at W3C; it's XHTML, which is both
XML and HTML. But that's probably not what you meant...
you probably meant "... uses XML with some other vocabulary
than the HTML tags."

Try this one:

  Multimodal view of ZVON

> My question: Is XML being used behind the scenes and what is visible to the
> public is an HTML code?

Yes, transforming to HTML server-side is a common idiom.
There's a whole market of tools: cocoon/ASP/JSP/etc. for
managing sites this way.

Also... it's being used in faceless/browserless

Surf around the sites I recommend on the XML home page
to get a feel for how folks are using it...

xmlhack - developer news from the XML community 
     news, opinions, tips and issues concerning XML development. since
SGML/XML Web Page 
     Robin Cover's bibliography and background information on SGML,
     and DSSSL, since 1994; 

--        Extensible Markup Language (XML)
Mon, 12 Feb 2001 12:27:32 GMT

>  If this is true then how would XML replace HTML?

Er... where did you get the impression that
XML will replace HTML?

I expect most HTML usage to migrate to XHTML usage,
but I don't expect the headings/paragraph/lists/links
vocabulary to ever go away.

XHTML 1.0 is a reformulation of
      HTML 4.01 in XML, and combines the strength of HTML4 with the
      power of XML.

--        HTML Home Page
Fri, 09 Feb 2001 08:29:12 GMT

> Also, how would search engines and agents search the Web more efficiently?

Widespread deployment of that is perhaps a ways off.
But to see it in action now, try


> I guess I am confused.  I did some asking around and I got answers like XML
> was not meant to be used that way.  It is used for sending messages back and
> fourth in an e-business or e-commerce or marketplace type of environment!!
> Is this true?

That's one of the main uses these days, indeed. But that's
hardly the only intended use.


      Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a simple, very flexible text
      format derived from SGML (ISO 8879). Originally designed to meet
      the challenges of large-scale electronic publishing, XML is also
      playing an increasingly important role in the exchange of a wide
      variety of data on the Web.

--        W3C Extensible Markup Language (XML) Activity
Thu, 16 Nov 2000 12:36:41 GMT

> I would appreciate your answers and if you know of articles that address
> these issue it would be great if you can lead me to them.

There are a few more articles cited from the bookmarks
section of the XML page; I recommend them, of course.


> Thank you so much for your help.

You're welcome.

> Gus Jabbour
> Senior Information Engineer
> Battelle Memorial Institute

Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Thursday, 22 February 2001 10:22:13 UTC

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