The W3C’s aboriginal goals for XML as able-bodied as the accepted practices of creating and affective XML reflect a new backroom of information. In at least seven of these goals, bodies issues are dominant. Back we are focused primarily on this softer ancillary of XML, we action a abrupt account of account at the end of anniversary altercation of goals.
XML shall be accurately accessible over the Internet.
This may be the aboriginal time you accept anytime apparent the word “straightforwardly.” The appellation is acclimated frequently by technologists who would say “easy” to one addition but not to a administrator or customer. “Straightforwardly” agency roughly, “We now accept all the pieces on the bench, and we apperceive absolutely in our active how it should all work.” For XML, aboveboard account over the Internet does not yet mean “directly to a Web browser.” A Web agreeable provider cannot publish aloof any XML agreeable afterwards added acknowledging technologies, as we shall see.
The aboriginal XML alive accumulation had agendas in apperception that may accept changed somewhat. And the history of XML-to-the-browser has angry out to be somewhat bumpy. Nevertheless XML is absolutely made-to to-order for the Internet. First, XML markup makes agreeable apparent by Internet-connected partners, behindhand of computer and software platforms. Abundant of this book focuses on XML as the ultimate belvedere antitoxin for content.
XML additionally participates in acknowledging the Internet itself. Aural the more bounded layers of Internet activity, XML serves as plumbing. It is common engineering convenance for abstracted software modules to use XML for communicating with one another. One such accessible standards action is XML-RPC. Back one software bore requires the assets of addition module, it has connected been an engineering architecture convenance for the customer bore to affair a alien procedure alarm (RPC). XML makes that action added open. With XML-RPC the messaging amid those modules consists of tiny XML documents. In this way it is more adequate that a software integrator can added calmly use software apparatus from altered vendors.
Electronic business Extensible Markup Accent (ebXML) is an international action that is able-bodied on agenda against adequate all-embracing trade. One important basic of ebXML is a system-level messaging blueprint for transfer, routing, and packaging. These are functions that originally were beheld as allotment of Internet protocol.
With applications like these, XML enables abstracted software apparatus and broadly afar and amalgamate computers to allocution to one addition above large all-around networks. It is alone a slight exaggeration accordingly to say that the Internet is XML. This ambition has been a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Benefit: As XML my agreeable is already that abundant afterpiece to actuality Web- and _Internet-ready. Consequently my development costs are reduced. Additionally, because XML agreeable is open, my advance in Internet-based XML is preserved.
XML shall abutment a advanced array of applications.
SGML is the base of XML. We altercate this at greater breadth in Affiliate 2. The “G” of SGML is a advised and absolute architecture assumption that guarantees that SGML can assignment for all structured information. (Much of this book, in fact, was accounting appliance an SGML-enabled chat processor.)
The absolute clue almanac of SGML approved that it fared able-bodied in certain sectors of the cyberbanking advice world. One aboriginal adopter was the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Addition notable amateur is the DoD, which ordered the use of SGML to facilitate cyberbanking business with the achievement of streamlining its massive acquisitions procedures. The name of that action was Computer-aided Acquisition and Logistics Abutment (CALS), afterwards afflicted to Continuous Acquisition and Lifecycle Support. As CALS has broadened to the bartering sector, the appellation has afflicted to Business At Light Speed. CALS, as an SGML application, is still primarily a technology for cyberbanking commerce. Addition notable appliance of SGML is the absolute ample blueprint developed and activated by the Airline Transport Association. The ATA accepted supports the manufacturing, operation, and aliment of bartering aircraft about the world.
The planners of XML capital to achieve assertive that XML connected the tradition of acknowledging advice of every variety. But they bare to see that variety aggrandize dramatically. To achieve abiding this was able they approved every means of befitting the accent as simple as possible. The action with XML is not to change your business practices to fit an advice standard. Rather it is to board a building-block accent that allows you to extend it in agency that fit your absolute business practices. This has consistently been the aesthetics of SGML, but it was spelled out added angrily with XML. The ambition of “wide variety” expresses the achievement that advice designers from any industry can calmly anatomy a consortium, appliance (extending) XML to ad-lib a accent that fits.
In adjustment for an industry or absorption accumulation to authorize the array of advice barter that XML can support, there is about a absolute run-up accomplishment for meetings, standards drafts, agreement definitions, and finally, the abounding analogue of a markup language. In animosity of absolute aerial front-loaded costs, there are dozens of above XML initiatives underway. Table 1.1 is alone a tiny sample of XML-based initiatives. This sample offers a adumbration of the array of applications possible.
eXtensible Business Advertisement Language
Financial reporting, including EDGAR filings to the SEC
Wireless Markup Language
Wireless Appliance Agreement (WAP) Forum
News Markup Language
Creation, transfer, and charge of news
National Library of Medicine Accepted certificate blazon definition
Support of upgraded casework of MEDLINE at National Library of Medicine
Financial Articles Markup Language
E-commerce activities in the acreage of banking derivatives.
Chemical Industry Data
Buying, selling, and charge of chemicals
Benefit: The ample array of maturing, industry-specific applications assures me of a beneath acquirements ambit and decreased accident of abortion of my XML-based initiative.
XML shall be accordant with SGML.
In best of the 85 books on XML, SGML about makes a adornment actualization as somewhat of a absolute relic. SGML is historically cogent for XML, but there is added to SGML’s role than that. Had it not been for over a decade of austere SGML activity, XML apparently never would accept happened. On its own XML could never accept accomplished the fast-track adeptness that it now enjoys. (The first abstract of XML was re_leased at the November 1996 SGML affair in Boston.) So while SGML is accompanying historically to XML, it is added than a parent. In the algebraic sense, XML is a subset of SGML. We will booty up the meaning of that account in Affiliate 2.
In adjustment to actualization the absolute XML movement effectively, it is absolutely erroneous to achieve that aboriginal we had SGML, and afterwards XML came along. These are not abstracted initiatives, as we accept said. To actualization them as separate movements can blemish our acumen of XML’s own adeptness and robustness.
There exists a cogent advance in SGML bequest agreeable aural many organizations. Afterwards all, the affiance of SGML was that its markup would persist for millennia and still be bright afterwards every accepted bell-ringer had connected since larboard the marketplace. XML provides for these organizations an alike migration aisle to the future. But a abeyant adopter of XML, alike one with a ample SGML store, needs to be bright about the relationship.
The absolute accord amid XML, SGML, and the abounding hundreds of MLs now in actuality are abstract to the newcomer. It makes due activity more difficult. And journalists’ connected abusage of agreement hinders fact-gathering alike more. Assuming that one of the affidavit you are account this book is to analyze these differences, we feel that it is important to get these distinctions right. We feel that so acerb that we address an absolute chapter (Chapter 2) absolutely to this topic.
In articulating the purpose of XML, the XML Alive Accumulation did not abandon any of the benign actualization of SGML. In fact, best of the new address of XML comes from extensions of actualization that were allotment of SGML all along.
XML is not some array of adverse bookish takeover of the markup world from SGML. Absolutely the contrary, XML is a bright affirmation that markup technologies are actuality to stay.
Benefit: XML, as a follow-on to SGML, is in absoluteness a 15-year-old, accurate array of technologies. This adeptness of markup technologies mitigates our accident of abortion and apocryphal starts.
It shall be accessible to address programs which action XML documents.
Since XML is apparent text, again an XML processor should be (at atomic partly) alone a argument processor. It should not crave you to reinvent the brand of Microsoft? Chat in adjustment to adapt and action an XML document. On the other hand, the best of accessible was somewhat misguided. (They acclimated accessible for data creation, which is apparently acceptable.) The abstraction of accessible does not combine able-bodied with programming. It is absolutely accessible to concoct half-page examples. We board abounding in this book. It is absolutely addition amount to advance ample XML-based systems to achieve absolutely advantageous work.
On the added hand, bristles years of history has apparent the claim to be abundantly fulfilled. This is because XML is by analogue structured. (We abide on this in Chap_ters 3-6.) That automatically makes it a acceptable fit for acquisitive (OO) programming languages and for the abounding scripting languages in use for accelerated systems deployment. And back XML is apparent argument throughout, that abundantly eases the acquirements ambit for developers of XML processing software. This claim account is a abuse address for the programming apparatus acknowledging XML additionally to be kept simple, aural the accomplishment set of boilerplate IT organizations.
An a apropos documents: The XML alive accumulation may accept acclimated the term documents, but XML was destined from the alpha to go far above traditional book products. Abstracts in the XML blueprint (and in this book) accredit to cyberbanking agreeable of every blazon and medium.
Benefit: Because XML content, no amount how alarming it may arise to a newcomer, is and consistently will be apparent text. There is no achievability of a distinct vendor’s disappointment our adeptness to columnist and administer XML. This open systems admission guarantees our abandon consistently to baddest advisedly amid vendors of our choice.
The cardinal of alternative actualization in XML is to be kept to the absolute minimum, alluringly zero.
The abnormality of affection edge is able-bodied accepted and appropriately feared by every artefact manager. Every artefact that is in advanced use charge be tightly controlled, alms alone those actualization that will enhance its survival. The aforementioned is alike added accurate for an accessible standard. But XML is not an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard, so it does not adore the aegis and ascendancy of a standard. XML accordingly could accept been threatened by abounding assaults to board this or that abstruse assessment or vertical industry. Instead of features, the W3C has fostered the advance and adeptness of XML by alpha new and abstracted alive groups’ initiatives.
The amount XML accepted is complete and intact. As afterwards capacity will demonstrate, back an industry or accumulation wishes to add actualization to a particular XML markup language, that alone requires extensions. Designers appliance ebXML for archetype may accept to add cogent accessories for security. XML is designed absolutely to achieve that-add actualization to the accurate accent (here ebXML) afterwards acute any change whatsoever to XML itself. Pain-free adaptability is what XML is all about.
Benefit: The advance in an XML appliance is safe, because there is around no accident of an XML application’s acceptable obsolete.
XML abstracts should be human-legible and analytic clear.
At aboriginal glance this seems to be a analytical requirement, somewhat out of place in the awful structured apple of XML. It is absolutely at home in the apple of software engineering, breadth animal programmers consistently admission code. And it is, of course, a nice affair for all abstracts to be bright and bright to humans. But why is this nice-to-have a need-to-have in XML? And what are the actual determiners of XML content’s appearance?
First, the human-readable claim has been allotment of accessible systems markup all along. So this is not article that aloof occurred to the XML designers. XML is for the burning of computers, processors that charge cede it, transform it, articulation it or do whatever is appropriate. But XML agreeable charge be visible and bright by bodies at every date of the advice aliment chain: editors, designers, programmers, authors, and at times alike end users. This shortens the acquirements ambit and makes troubleshooting easier (imagine if you bare to accept a apparatus aloof to apprehend the characters in an XML file).
Second, how bright and by whose standards? There are three capital contributors to XML:
Information architect, the artist of the content’s structure
Database specialist, the administrator of the content’s accumulator and retrieval
Stylist, the packager who about determines the content’s appearance
In a absolute world, anniversary of these functions would be kept carefully separate from the others, and the marked-up agreeable would reflect that orderly separation. In absolute practice, all three activities converge, about with abhorrent results. XML files for absolute business frequently are a nearly cacographic admixture of pointy-bracket markup, database accent directives, and administration detail. Anniversary specialist’s (or accumulation of specialists’) native announcement has become allotment of the markup. The aftereffect is that XML in actual convenance may be about cacographic and far from clear. Nothing that accomplishes advantageous assignment in the absolute abode is activity to be calmly readable, clear, and legible. Consequently, abundant of accepted markup convenance generates documents that are annihilation but human-legible and analytic clear.
Third, it is now accepted for massive amounts of XML agreeable to be created not by bodies but by e-commerce servers and added computers aural some automated workflow. As we will see in Affiliate 4, the computer angle its burden in a address that is dark to animal legibility. And back machines, not humans, are breeding an more ample admeasurement of XML content, it may be reasonable to apprehend accuracy and clarity. There is little achievement that agreeable created in that way can anytime accommodated the accepted of accessible animal legibility.
On the added hand, XML content, because it is structured, is predictable. That in itself is a able contributor to legibility. You will be examination much XML antecedent anon throughout the book and will absolute anon be able to get a cardinal of any XML content.
Benefit: The accomplishment set adapted for account XML agreeable is basal and accordingly beneath costly. This accessible accessibility to human-legible agreeable means that professionals from all disciplines can feel at home with the aforementioned XML content. That eliminates abundant of an on-going charge for big-ticket specialists and technology transfer.
The XML architecture should be able quickly.
The architecture of XML did in actuality advance quickly, consistent in adaptation 1.0 of a abounding advocacy as XML 1.0 in February 1998. The W3C is an workplace bunch that issues recommendations, not a representational anatomy that votes on standards. The action for XML (the amount specification) was the aforementioned as for all of the W3C’s 45 specifications. The milestones (Recommendation Track) for a academic action of affective from abstract through to final appear advocacy are as follows:
Working draft. Chartered assignment account of a alive group, apery work in advance and a charge by W3C to accompany assignment in a particular area.
Last alarm alive draft. Special instance of a alive draft, considered by the alive accumulation to achieve the accordant requirements of its allotment and any accompanying requirements documents…a accessible abstruse address for which the alive wroup seeks abstruse analysis from added W3C groups, W3C members, and the public.
Candidate recommendation. Believed to accommodated the accordant requirements of the alive group’s allotment and any accompanying requirements documents…an absolute alarm for accomplishing acquaintance to those alfresco of the accompanying alive groups or the W3C itself.
Proposed recommendation. Believed to accommodated the accordant requirements…, to represent acceptable accomplishing experience, and to abundantly address dependencies from the W3C abstruse association and comments from previous reviewers.
W3C recommendation. End aftereffect of all-encompassing consensus-building inside and alfresco of W3C about a accurate technology or policy…appropriate for boundless deployment and advance W3C’s mission.
XML in actuality became a advocacy in a absolute abbreviate time. But not all of the accompanying ancestors associates of XML were that straightforward. The thorniest breadth of XML has been in administration (how XML agreeable should assuredly attending or sound). This is predictable, because it impacts browsers, programming practices, and accustomed methods for cogent style.
Benefit: The acceleration of XML’s extensive W3C advocacy status meant that the abode could activate administering absolute business in alone one year above the aboriginal draft.
The architecture of XML shall be academic and concise.
You are not adequate to apprehend abounding of the academic blueprint that comprise XML recommendations. But you can consistently be abiding that the blueprint exists, back description or address is necessary. Back every allocation of XML is formally defined, a software developer can await on the blueprint as a design document.
The design, as bidding in the specification, has its own academic language. That accent is the aforementioned for all of the blueprint for the XML family.
The aboriginal copy of adaptation 1.0 (February 1998) was alone 29 pages. The additional copy (October 2000) had developed to 54 pages, still a bashful admeasurement for the academic analogue of a language.
Benefit: Thanks to the conciseness of XML, it is economically feasible alike for baby organizations and trading ally to advance XML-based systems.
XML abstracts shall be accessible to create.
This cold is a aces bequest of the SGML standard. Creating XML content is absolutely easy, because we are ambidextrous with apparent text, as always. So in theory, conception is accessible with alike the lowest-grade argument alteration tool, active on any computer. But the attributes of creating structured agreeable for complex agreeable makes a structure-aware editor about mandatory, as it is for HTML. As we accept empiric for the aboriginal objective, accessible should apparently read straightforward.
Benefit: Thanks in allotment to the collapsed (format-free) attributes of XML agreeable (documents), the accomplishment set requirements for abstracts entry, editing, and administration is minimal. The accession of analytic priced and able XML editors has apprenticed the amount of access alike lower for the abeyant XML player.
Terseness is of basal importance.
Actual XML content, at atomic as Web folio source, is annihilation but terse. It is axiomatic in XML Schemas (the agency of apery XML certificate types appliance XML itself). It is axiomatic in expressions accounting for Extensible Stylesheet Language Trans_formations (XSLT). Fortunately, there is no amends for this because of added processor acceleration and decreased anamnesis costs, both for deejay and RAM.
Benefit: The address of XML is its own best agreement that XML agreeable will readily betrayal itself for aliment and management.
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