W3C XML home page: W3C XML
A collection of critical thoughts on "plain" or "generic" XML, why it can be considered harmful etc.
- plain-old-xml-considered-harmful - feel free to add to this specific page from the below resources.
- Never send content in proprietary (XML) formats over the wire by Ian Hickson
- David Janes on the failure of *plain XML* approaches
- Donât Invent XML Languages by Tim Bray
- Which Part of "No XML" Don't You Understand? by Guido van Rossum
- More thoughts on portable social networks by Jeremy Keith. In particular:
- Publishing XML is hard, certainly harder than publishing HTML.
- Out of sight is out of mind.
Back when I saw Douglas Crockford speak on JSON at the Silicon Valley Code Camp on 2006-10-07, I realized that with HTML+microformats for document content (user authored data), and JSON for API data (machine generated data), where did that leave XML? Nowhere it seems. I asked Douglas Crockford after his session, and have been mentioning it informally to a few people since, partially to get critical feedback on my reasoning, and partially to pass on a general questioning of the XML religion. It seems that this meme has been propagating quite well. Tantek 16:46, 31 Jan 2007 (PST)
- XML on the Web is Dead by Douglas Crockford
- XML and the Next Web (and the Previous...) by Simon St. Laurent:
XML was originally âSGML on the Webâ, planned as a drastic change. Instead of tag soup HTML and just-implemented CSS, XML would provide a solid base format for information, XLink would offer much improved hypertext capabilities, and XSL would render all that information into something much prettier and more controllable.
XML pretty completely missed its original target market. SGML culture and web developer culture seemed like a poor fit on many levels, and I canât say I even remember a concerted effort to explain what XML might mean to web developers, or to ask them whether this new vision of the Web had much relationship to what they were doing or what they had planned. SGML/XML culture and web culture never really meshed.
Instead, XML took over much of SGMLâs role in the publishing world, offered itself as a common format for data interchange, and became the foundation for a whole set of projects mistakenly called âweb servicesâ. That work on web services has proven to be about as successful on the Web as the original âSGML for the Webâ vision.
Once again, no one paused to asked the web folk what they might actually want, and programmersâ visions yielded a replacement for CORBA and mainframe messaging rather than lightweight tools that web developers might find useful. No matter, though - those web developers eventually figured out that HTTP could carry bits of XML well enough to solve many of their problems, without requiring them to dive deeply into either XML or protocol design.