Chuck Esterbrook wrote:
> At 02:44 AM 3/18/2001 -0500, Terrel Shumway wrote:
> >Why invent a new format? XML seems more appropriate than a python
> >dictionary -- in addition to all of the benefits above, it is:
> > * editiable by humans
> > * open to manipulation by hundreds of existing tools
> > * easy to transform via XSLT (rather than having to write python code)
> > * ...
> >We can still exercise our creativity by selecting (or even inventing) a
> I thought every time we created an XML based system we were creating a new
> format. XML is just tagged data...so is a Python dictionary...
XML is tagged data easily readable by hundreds of existing parsers. A Python dictionary is tagged data readable by Python.
> XSLT is interesting, but I don't know much about it. Is it powerful enough
> to spawn any kind of HTML we want?
And then some. That is exactly what it was designed to do. Being a declarative language, it tends to target a different kind of transformation than what you would typically to with SAX or DOM, so it isn't appropriate for everything; But it is good (and fairly concise*) for many typical HTML generation tasks.
> >These "IDEAS FOR FUTURE" are old hat if you use an existing format like RSS.
> What's RSS? Got a URL?
Blogspace seems to have a somewhat balanced resource page: http://www.blogspace.com/rss/
RSS is an XML vocabulary for syndicating news content. Dave Winer started the project. Netscape picked it up, gave it a name, released a spec (RSS 0.9), made it popular (http://my.netscape.com/publish/help/mnn20/quickstart.html ), released another spec (0.91), and dropped the project. (The responsible group left after the AOL merger.)
Then came the split. Since the "owner" of the spec (Netscape) is no longer interested, neither camp can claim that the other is wrong.
Dave Winer continued in the keep-it-simple path, and is preparing a 0.92 spec.
Zope does 0.91: http://www.byte.com/column/BYT19991021S0014 http://www.zope.org/Members/edmundd/SiteSummary
Another group followed the make-it-so-generic-i-can-describe-anything path, and prepared RSS 1.0, based on RDF.
* some people would argue that XSL is anything but concise. But I think that it can be -- compared to procedural code to do the same transform.