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Showing posts from February, 2013

Abandoning hope... and XForms

Sometimes a decision must be made. I have invested many hours in a standard that is quite complex and tedious to maintain, and that was great fun, but enough is enough.

Why did I invest in XForms when it took so much effort and time? Because I believe standards are good and good standards come from the W3C and the XML community. Also, I always had somewhat of an inferiority complex in IT development that I tried to compensate by using techniques supposedly invented for common folk, i.e. non-programmers. Both are bad reasons from where I now stand. I took up XForms because I was infected by the enthusiasm of a friend (who was even quicker to abandon it) about 3 years ago. At first I assumed it just used a model from which to infer a form. It turned out it was like a superset of HTML forms with options for displaying and validating data. This was largely taken up by HTML5, as we all know. The Model remains the core of XForms, but the W3C is slow to respond to innovations and the need fo…

XML is dead. Long live RDF?

I'd choose concept over implementation any time. I kinda always knew that, but I rediscovered this recently. I want to be able to confide in that and in my intuition. It tells me XML is dead. Really. So here goes.

At XML Prague 2013 it occurred to me that RDF means the death of XML. I was discussing RDF with +Manuel Lautenschlager, and at one point he said: you can just infer XML. I tried to get him to elaborate on this statement, but we didn't seem to agree on the implications. But I thought, if one successfully manages to reason about the format of data, then XML would be one of the possible outcomes. This doesn't just mean that XML could be a subset of RDF, but conceptually: XML, its media type and any knowledge about it could simply become part of an ontology.

I discussed this with +John Snelson, who wasn't impressed. According to him, RDF is too fine-grained to present itself as a tree, the serialization would not be performant, and implementing the concept would …

XML Prague 2013 Afterthought

An anniversary is supposed to be a happy occasion, but at some point you also tend to feel sad. You sense that when something reaches a certain age, it's also a step closer to death. Happy birthday dear XML.

However, if MicroXML will succeed XML (as proposed by Uche Ogbuji), then perhaps it means that ENQUIRE is going to replace the WWW. Some weeks ago I watched the unveiling of Nintendo 64, when we got all the cool games we still play today. Afterwards I wondered: how can it be Nintendo developed all this stuff back in '96, when I'm still struggling with namespaces? Happy birthday dear me.

I read Michael Kay's blog entry on MicroXML, and his concern for namespaces in XSLT. I understand this concern, but xquery doesn't seem to share this problem. Defining a module from a URI and mapping it to a local namespace is common practice, and recently found its way into JavaScript in the form of require.js, which sails under the flag of the Dojo Foundation. I don't see …