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thoughts on XML, SemanticWeb and mi/acrosoms

Been reading DiveIntoMark? [1] and the recent posts on using HTML as part of the SemanticWeb rather than using XML. I know these posts are generally geared towards bloggers but surely that is seeing only the microcosm rather than the macrocosm of the web.

XML isn't just about the web. It is used as the basis for off-line software documents as well, like [AbiWord] and Word. It is also easier to transform XML into a variety of other formats,e.g. using [FOP] to transform it into PDF.

Let's presume there is an XML format specifically for bloggers called BlogMarkupLanguage? (BML) and it is a standard across blogging applications and bloggers themselves - probably a [pipedream] but bare with me - and someone uses [Blogger] to create their blog. Blogger could transform the BML into HTML so people can read it on the web. It could also expose the BML so people could then create RDF/RSS feeds from it. But people could also turn the BML into off-line documents as well, in fact anything that someone has written a parser for. For me a primary function of XML based markup is the ability to transform it into something else. This is the macrcosm view.

The microcosm view is to keep on trying to re-invent a markup which was originally intended to purely format documents in a word processor type of way to make them easier to read on the web. It's a bit like a car manufacturer bolting extra bits of technology onto a car without changing the basic design of the car, something which would end up being ugly and clunky. Car manufacturers re-design cars to accomadate new technology and thinking. At the moment there are 2 schools of thought on the 'semantic web' - those who wish to use HTML 'properly', no matter how clunky and unwieldy it may become, and those, including myself, who, almost, want to start again and use XML as the raw data.

The problem with the web is that every other person has an idea on how to acheive semanticism, thus, facilitating fragmentation and smaller and smaller niches, each with its own 'standard'. Like trying to acheive the true paperless office, which should be possible, the problem is people. At the moment nothing is moving forward but going round in circles. Basically the web hasn't really moved forward since reaching HTML 4.01. The only XML format in majority use is RDF/RSS and how many of the technologies listed on the [W3C] page aren't actually implemented by the software which is used to access the web.

XML/HTML isn't just for bloggers.

Linux Software [all written with Wiki:TclTk]:

Wiki:ActiveServerPages stuff [All use XML (ExtensibleMarkupLanguage)]:


Wiki Pages:

Not knowing much about ASP or XML, I have this silly question. Can I/should I attempt to use your Wiki:ActiveServerPages stuff with GNU/Linux? I've heard there are ASP-like systems for GNU/Linux, but I certainly don't have MSXML3. But what is MSXML3? Is it just implementation of standard stuff that I might have anyway, or be able to find another implementation of? Or is it proprietary? Thanks -- BayleShanks

MSXML is the [Microsoft XML Parser], for WinDows? only. As far as I am aware the ASP like systems for GNU/Linux use Perl whereas the native MicroSoft ASP uses either VbScript? or JavaScript - I use JavaScript in my ASP stuff because I couldn't be bothered to learn VbScript? -- PaulMillar

Thanks for fixing it Paul, I look at it and see if I can figure out the difference, is it just that wiki is simpler, so you don't need that other code? Best, MarkDilley

Wiki is easier but HTML is still needed. Wiki just does it behind the scenes -- PaulMillar

Sure, HtmlIsAssembler. ;) --ss

Your explanation/ philosophy and report of the SemanticWeb progress above was very interesting for me. Thanks! :-) FlorianKonnertz



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