XML's disruptive nature examined
22:22, 21 Jun 2000 UTC | Edd Dumbill

In an essay on, Simon St.Laurent examines the consequences that XML is having on established Internet technologies such as MIME and URIs.

Recent controversies over XML and URIs, and the appropriateness of XML over HTTP RPC mechanisms have highlighted XML's tendency to muddy the waters of previously established practice.

In his essay, St.Laurent writes:

It's not clear that it's time to throw away existing infrastructure and start over with an XML foundation, but it may be time to at least consider that prospect... It's not hard to imagine a revised version of HTTP or SMTP that uses XML vocabularies--even extensible XML vocabularies--in place of the current set of text headers.

Despite such firebrand statements, he concludes that a pragmatic route is more likely, progressing slowly through "consensus-building, upgrading protocols and other standards over time".

There is a forum available on in which to discuss this essay and respond to the author.

(St.Laurent is a contributing editor to xmlhack.)

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