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Thursday, January 3, 2008

XML Outlook for 2008

"I've made it a habit over the last several years to put together a
list of both my own forecasts for the upcoming year in the realm of XML
technologies and technology in general and, with some misgivings, to
see how far off the mark I was from the LAST time that I made such a
list. The exercise is useful, and should be a part of any analyst's
toolkit, because it forces you to look both at the trends and at potential
disruptors to trends -- which I've come to realize are also trends,
albeit considerably more difficult to spot... As to open standards -- I
think we're going to see a period of consolidation and integration within
the W3C after a few very productive years. The XPath family of languages
are largely complete and solid (though I see the rumblings of an XForms
2.0 in the near future), the Semantic languages are close to complete,
the initial burst of activity to align HTML with AJAX will continue but
within a clearly defined timeline, and the mobile initiative set out a
couple of years ago will likely run its course in 2008 or early 2009.
My anticipation is that there will likely be a drawdown of activity by
the W3C over the course of the next couple of years, at least until the
next major wave... Overall, 2008 should prove to be an interesting, if
somewhat nail-biting, year. There are signs that XML is maturing at the
enterprise level and is beginning to make its presence felt within web
browsers and web interfaces (especially beyond simply being local data
islands or data stores), and XML is also beginning to become a solid
data technology in its own right, rather than simply a messaging or
'document' format. In general, the coming year should prove not to have
too many huge disruptions, but it will see a number of standards that
have been in the works for several years now start to become widely
deployed, including in the Semantic Web, XPath-family, and compound
document arenas. I'm lost optimistic about proprietary XML client
frameworks -- they will continue achieving some market penetration,
but likely not as much as their marketing departments would like to
project. Beyond that, macro-economic trends will begin to have an
impact upon XML and IT in general, especially towards the latter half
of 2008 and early into 2009, though probably not as dramatically as
in years past." More Information


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