[xquery-talk] Text Markup vs Data Serialization - Was RE: min max and mix

Michael Kay mike at saxonica.com
Mon Feb 10 11:31:47 PST 2014

On 10 Feb 2014, at 19:14, David Lee <dlee at calldei.com> wrote:

> I do like FtanML ... In fact look forward to a possible presentation at some upcoming conference with a few key concepts borrowed/stolen ...

FtanML was very deliberately an exercise in answering the question "what would we like markup to look like if there were no compatibility / transition / adoption issues influencing the design?".

It will have succeeded if it influences whatever comes next.

As with other widely-adopted standards like SQL, Posix, and C, XML will be very hard to displace; unlike those standards it also seems to be very resistant to incremental improvement. We're currently in a position where the world has discovered better ways of serializing structured data, but hasn't yet discovered a better way of serializing narrative text or of information that mixes narrative text with structured data (which is the domain that I find most interesting).

I've got a very bad track record at predicting the future, so I really shouldn't attempt it. Perhaps some standards group needing a new specification in some area like insurance will decide that it wants something better than XML and better than JSON and invent its own syntax, which will do the job sufficiently well that people in other areas start adopting it too. Who knows.

Michael Kay

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