War (on XML), what is it good for?

Were switching to XML a requirement for reaping compelling benefits, the public would indubitably have moved. So would the majority browser engine.

So if the majority browser engine did support XML, this presumably brings us to the question of what would those compelling benefits to the public be?

Aristotle has updated with a response to the question he thinks I asked of his post, which I didn’t. Rather than quote it all, feel free to go and read it on his blog post

My question is, what would those compelling features of XHTML 1.5 be? What could those new features at the time have been? Would they have been compelling enough to encourage the move to XML?

Maybe I’m even asking (in a very broad sense) whether the changes which the WHATWG (and apparently TB-L) are suggesting, are compelling, in and of themselves, to the public, now.

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2 thoughts on “War (on XML), what is it good for?”

  1. Ah, so that is the question. Well, that’s a good guess. I think easy client-side transclusion (some sort of XInclude profile maybe) could have been a killer app. Even just dedicated markup for footnotes, sidenotes and pullquotes might have gotten entire populations of web inhabitants to switch, if coupled with some updates to CSS (consider the accessibility angle here as well as the force of the standards compliance movement among designers creating for the open web). There would quite conceivably have been scope for better SVG integration, as well.

    More ideally, there would have been several iterations by now, so there might have been a confluence of additions, each individually too weak to get any particular publisher to switch, but in combination enticing enough. Heck, people would switch just because of the presence of new and shiny features, even in absence of an immediate need for them.

    Microsoft have been able to afford their torpor because it was simply a reflection of the web’s.

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