Extensible Markup Language (XML) co-editors Tim Bray (also a Netscape Communications Corp consultant) and Jean Paoli (on Microsoft Corp’s payroll) will be writing an XML-lang specification document for the World Wide Web (W3C) consortium. Our sister publication ClieNT Server News notes that XML will be important Microsoft because it could be the next HTML and HTML is what Netscape is identified with. But as Microsoft has surrounded the HTML wagon train with XML, Netscape in turn has surrounded XML with a XML-based Meta Content Framework that it’s offered to W3C as the specification for what it calls RDF or Resource Description Framework. Microsoft of course has come up with an opposing XML-Data spec but hasn’t submitted it to W3C apparently because its XML-based Channel Definition Format (CDF) for pushing web content doesn’t conform and so could lose momentum. Standards dweebs, however, predict that MCF and XML-Data will be made to merge possibly after an XML summit in Redmond and that CDF will be made to conform. Meantime, XML-link, the first of a series of extensions to XML is being written by a W3C working group by SGML house Arbortext Inc’s Eve Maler and Steve DeRose from Inso Electronic Publishing Solutions. XML linking will supposedly expand on HTML’s simple unidirectional hyperlinks and, for instance, allowing XML documents to call up non-XML documents, and allow them to be commented – whether the author wants them to be or not – in a third document. It will also apparently manage the forest of hyperlinks that can be created but by their very intricacy are almost impossible to monitor.
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