XML for Information Architecture
08:56, 19 Dec 2000 UTC | Edd Dumbill

Dan Ancona has proposed IAML, an information architecture markup language, in a post to XML-DEV.

The initial aim of IAML is to associate data (text, images and objects) with spatial information, and allow links to be made. Ancona is working on a rendering tool to visualize IAML in 3D, and hopes to release screenshots soon.

On how information architecture fits with the visualization, he writes:

The IA of the IAML is, at this point, a bit of a stretch. It's based on the hypothesis that the process of information architecture is, in some way, a process of locating information in space, whether the end user experiences it as such or not. I realize that this is a) altogether unproven (but, I hope, interesting) and that b) I'm overloading the phrase "information architecture" here a bit. I hope the interestingness of work along these lines precludes my hubris in doing so.

In his message, Ancona also includes an excerpt from his preliminary syntax. Coming from a usability/interface background, he also makes an interesting observation on the syntaxes of XML applications:

It seems like the overlap between what might loosely be called "syntax people" and "interface/usability people" is kind of small. This could just be my I've got a hammer so everything looks vaguely nail-ish perspective, but it seems like few syntaxes are really developed with end users in mind. ... I'm really curious as to what people think on this.

Ancona can be contacted at

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Re: XML for Information Architecture (fds - 18:32, 7 Jan 2003)
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