"The language of the internet"
Posted Dec 1, 2005 14:18 UTC (Thu) by kevinbsmith
Parent article: When Is a Standard Truly Open? - When It's Universal, Reflections on Massachusetts and Microsoft's XML
This is mostly a good article, with some interesting ways of looking at the issue. However, I wasn't impressed with the last section, where somehow the XML format (roughly speaking, a schema) used for office documents gets confused with the XML "schemas" used for web pages and web services.
It's not a perfect analogy, but XML is more like an alphabet than a language. Imagine that all the world's human languages shared a single writing script, such as the Latin letters used in English. Microsoft might control the English language (office doc schema) that is built with these letters, but that has no direct impact on the French or Thai languages (other XML schemas) built with the same letters. There are thousands of uses of XML that have nothing to do with the office doc XML schema.
Unless Microsoft is planning to modify the rules of XML itself (the alphabet), this debate really is only about office docs. The outcome will *indirectly* affect similar discussions in other domains, but would have no direct technical effect.
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