Re: XML and GNOME community

Quoting Tom Tromey (
> Daniel> Moreover one will certainly find quite more XML document in
> Daniel> offices desktop than SGML ones ...
> Of course, this depends on your office.  We use DocBook here at
> Cygnus.  I doubt there's an XML document anywhere on our web sites,
> but I know there are DocBook documents around.
   I never said that SGML wasn't in use :-) It's the perfect format for
large structured long-lived documentation. But as an interchange format
for day-to-day data it's a bit too bulk.

> Anyway, I thought one of the points of SGML is that you can use tools
> to manipulate the documents in automatic ways.  E.g., DocBook->XML
> translators are a possibility (or perhaps even easy).

   Once you have fixed the DTD, converting angle brackets to angle
brackets isn't too difficult, that's the power of SGML and one of the
reasons of the success of the LDP (Linux Doc Project).
> I don't know anything about XML.  But it isn't difficult for me to
> imagine that both DocBook and XML have their place, as they probably
> address different problems.
> My real question is: what would Gnome use XML for?  Talking about
> using XML in some generic sense seems weird to me -- I like to hear
> specific examples of how it would be useful.

  My bet (the one I'm ready to spend time for writing useless code
if I'm wrong) is that XML will be used to distribute information
in the enterprise, instead of .DOC or .XSL or whatever completely
proprietary formats. The Dtd may still be specific to an application
but it's not too difficult to make sense of an XML document even
without the Dtd. Check
last paragraph to understand why I'm ready to send some night coding
XML support for the beloved Gnome desktop :-)
  As a first step, I would like to add XML parsing code to Gnome,
then the DOM API to manipulate it, export it via Corba. The next
step is to use this API to subclass one of the editor widgets
and add basic XML support and add support to the html renderer
(which is more complicated, rendering generic XML isn't trivial
 one need to add support for CSS or XSL).
 I will be happy once there is support to edit, modify and display
generic XML in the widget set, this can be coded as an extension,
it doesn't need to go to the core (well, it may if Gnome community
actually want to use XML encoding for various storage, but that's
not what I'm pushing for :-)
 I agree, it's a bet and as someone pointed out it may be actually
useless (referencing MS 3D graphic API), however I'm ready to spend
some time working on it, and of course I welcome other to join if
they are interested.

 I have however a big question, does Gnome project accept contributions
which are not under the GPL/LGPL license ? Most of my code may be
covered by the W3C Copyright and I really want to know before starting
if such code can be incorporated in Gnome ! Could one of the member of
the Gnome Team have a look at the W3C Copyright and give me some feedback
(, thanks.

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