Wednesday, January 30, 2008

XML 1.0 10th anniversary on February 10 2008

February 10 2008 marks the 10th anniversary of the release of XML 1.0 by the W3C (although some celebrate Nov 14 1996, the release date of the working draft while others celebrate the anniversary, August 1996, of the conference at which it was first discussed: hey, it's the Web: let a thousand flowers bloom!).

XML has had an incredibly wide and deep impact across industry, science, technology: it is ubiquitous. As a technology it has disrupted the database community and industry, the publishing community and others.

Many data standards groups in the sciences and in industry -- which previously spent their time developing byzantine formats for their particular information needs -- now spend their efforts on developing XML-based byzantine formats for their particular information needs. There are few science, arts, social science or humanities disciplines and industry sectors that do not have one or more FooML-specialized XML dialects for their needs, such as:

Additional links:
Update Feb 12: XML10 press release from W3C with testimonials from IBM, Microsoft and Innovimax.


Ben Overmyer said...

The ubiquitous nature of XML has led to it being less of a technological construct and more of a technique. In comparison to relational databases, it allows for a much greater freedom of architecture. For that reason alone, XML is, as you say, widely used in a great number of different industries.

The question, then, is not "why is XML popular?" but rather "what can we do with XML today?"


Glen Newton said...

Yes, I agree. My third paragraph about data efforts was a little unfair and a little tongue-in-cheek: there really is a fundamental change in what these people are doing when they move to XML. And by using XML as a technique, they are able to share best practices, leverage other peoples efforts, draw from shared resources, etc.

Generally some of the benefits you get when you adopt (good and open) standards (thanks W3C).

As for "what we can do with XML today?", my post -- for reasons of brevity -- didn't go in to the incredible diversity of where and how XML is being, and will be, used, but I think I would have to mention RDF and the RDF family of XML that is being developed / experimented-with in the Semantic Web universe. I see the impact of the technologies growing around these as taking us forward to Web N.0, that these technologies are the learning stepping stones to what will be deployed/deployable, as opposed to the end-point.