(Fwd) Re: XML and GNOME community

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Daniel ]

> > We need native XML support on the desktop tools
> ...
> > Moreover, the DOM (Document Object Model)  is defining a common API to
> ...
> I know Miguel has said he wants to use OLE2 for the component model, and
> he gave a fairly good description that helps me understand what specific
> benefits putting OLE2 in would give. However, I don't understand any
> specific benefits of XML beyond it being a nice HTML replacement and
> standard data interchange format. Without using any buzzwords or acronyms,
> can you explain why it's useful to a desktop environment? 

  First don't get me wrong: "XML support" not "XML based", right ?
I guess (hope) one doesn't have to change the inner mechanism of Gnome
to be able to support new document types and the associated API.
Now, both OLE and OpenDoc were initially designed by one company I guess,
while XML (and DOM) are the result of a larger number of players. 

  XML seems to be widely accepted as the next document interchange format,
and somewhat I tend to think that it's a good thing, I would at least
be able to build tools making sense of it in my environment, which is
not the case for *sigh* current interchange formats i.e. .DOC and .XML ...
Having support for XML documents as a new set of API and a registered
document type in Gnome should allow me to handle them easily with my
Gnome desktop applications, and since Microsoft office suites seems to
move to XML, that means it will be easier to push the use of Linux for
desktop, which is if I remember correctly one of the main goal of the
Gnome project. You can design the most amazing desktop from a graphical
point of view, if you don't give people access to the information space
they will just use it at home to start gdoom or look at images. Pushing
linux into the offices requires support for the information they have
to exchange to do their work, currently it's a pain, tomorrow it may
be easier if Gnome tools support XML.

  Now show me the buzzword ? XML is Extended Markup Language, you can see
it as a simplified version of SGML, supporting multiple DTD (document
type definition) in one document, e.g. your document can aggregate fragment
of documents whose structure is defined separately, like embedding some
data coming from a database into a letter type document. DOM (Document
Object Model) is an API (Application Programming Interface :-) to access
XML and HTML structured document. It's independent of the programming
language and also (as all API) of the RPC mechanisms used to share them
with other applications (CORBA, COM/DCOM, ...).

> >   I would definitely be happy to help, I already have some simple but
> > usable XML parser code (pure C) and I would definitely join the
> > programmer team if there is some interest in developping such tools and
> > interfaces.  As Miguel can certify, I have been working with structured
> > document code for quite a while, and I can certainly help on the design
> > phase too to avoid getting caught with common pitfalls when designing
> > structured document model and APIs.
> GNOME definitely needs more people in the network-awareness (and
> buzzword-compliance :) area.

  For the network, I suggest that people have a serious look at libWWW
http://www.w3.org/Library/ it's a good implementation of HTTP, FTP, etc...

  For buzzwords, you can ask me but I tend to have more a coder than a
salesman approach to life, and some buzzword are really incompatible with
C compilers, so YMMV .


P.S. Since the MPL/GPL licencing seems to pop-up again, could you make me
    a favor, check that W3C Copyright is compatible with Gnome, basically
    it's a BSD like license (do whatever with it, but write our name
    somewhere) http://www.w3.org/COPYRIGHT.html , thanks. 

- -- 
Daniel.Veillard@w3.org | W3C  MIT/LCS  NE43-344  | Today's Bookmarks :
Tel: +1 617 253 5884  | 545 Technology Square   | Linux, WWW, rpm2html,
Fax: +1 617 258 5999  | Cambridge, MA 02139 USA | badminton, Kaffe,
http://www.w3.org/People/W3Cpeople.html#Veillard | HTTP-NG and Amaya.

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