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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

XML 2007: Year in Review

2007 was a productive year for XML. The most sound and fury focused
around the standardization of office document formats, a fight that even
spilled over into the popular press. Who ever thought you'd be reading
about ISO standards for XML formats in the Wall Street Journal? But if
I had to pick the most important story of the year, I'd be hard pressed
to choose between the continuing slow growth of XQuery, APP (Atom
Publishing Protocol), and XForms. All have the potential to radically
alter the software infrastructure that underlies the Web. XForms is a
radically new client-development platform, XQuery is a radically new
server-development platform, and APP connects them together. Of the
three, XQuery is ready for serious production use today, and APP is
gearing up. Atom Publishing Protocol (APP) began its life as a simple
format for uploading blog entries to replace custom APIs like the
MetaWeblog and WordPress APIs. But along the way, it turned into
something much, much more. APP is nothing less than a RESTful, scalable,
extensible, secure system for publishing content to HTTP servers. On one
hand, it's a pure protocol, completely independent of any particular
server or client. On the other hand, because it's nothing more than
HTTP, it's easy to implement in existing clients and servers. The Web
was originally intended to be a read-write medium. But for the first
15 years, most energy went into the reading half of that equation.
Browsers got all the attention, while authoring tools withered on the
vine. Page editors were generally poor and forced to tunnel through FTP
to file systems. Only now, with APP, is the field opening up to editors
that are as rich, powerful, and easy to use as the browsers. Some good
server software, such as the eXist native XML database, has already
started to take advantage of APP, and several clients are working on
it. More will do so over the coming year. Publishing on the Web will
finally become as straightforward as browsing it... XForms is running
behind and may be a little late to the party, but I hope it gets there
before the doors close. Either way, the future for XML on the Web looks
brighter than ever. More Information See also Atom references Click Here

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