[Cringely] 2002 = The Year of XML.

Adam Rifkin adam@xent.com
Mon, 7 Jan 2002 03:09:46 -0800 (PST)

On Sun, 6 Jan 2002, Adam "Duncan" Beberg wrote:
> > "It will probably be easy to label 2002 as The Year of XML"?!  I thought
> > *1997* was The Year of XML...
> No no, that was 1998, wait, 1999...

Actually, I remember once discussing with Tim Bray and Jon Bosak that *1996*
was the year that Netscape and Sun finally "got it" when it came to XML.

But I guess they were the early adopters.  Once Steve Ballmer starts
pushing it hard -- as he's doing right now -- *then* it's mainstream.
Six years from early adopters to mainstream.  Not bad.

Too bad that, in becoming mainstream, the suite of XML specs became such
an unwieldy group.  XML used to seem simple, straight-forward, and
immediately understandable.  Now -- to quote Tom Bradford [1] -- it's 

   "XSLT - Simple? Hell, no. Straight-forward? Maybe if you're an expert
in functional programming. Immediately understandable? Not on your life.
    XML Schemas - Simple? No, but I guess that's why we have XML Authority.
Straight-forward? Nope. Immediately understandable? More understandable
than XSLT, but that's not saying much.
    SOAP - Simple?  SOAP is fairly simple, but still leaves itself open
to complexity. Straight-forward? Nah. Immediately understandable? It's
definitely a leap in the right direction, but no.
    XML Query - Anyone seen the algebra? Yikes!
    RDF - Do I even have to answer these questions?
    SVG - HA!"

[1] http://www.xent.com/dec00/0321.html

> Cringely must be enamoured with your sexy flash presentatoins and
> quantum-packed (TM) buzzwords ;)

The Powers That Be have heard suggestions from you and others, on what's
wrong with the KnowNow website.

They are currently on Step Seven of Fourteen to fix it.

> Still, congrats. Now if people could just figure out from your website
> _what_ the hell you're doing, you'd be all set.

Amen, brother.  Easier said than done.

> I see the diagram where you renamed the 7 layers of the TCP/IP stack,
> that was briliant!

I feel bad for the guy whose job was to come up with that -- he
genuinely believed he had made a breakthrough.

> So many things just to get past firewalls and NATs.

The Internet of 2002 is like The Forest in _The Wizard of Oz_. [2]
Does anyone know the way to the Emerald City from here?

Firewalls and NATs and proxy caches, oh my.
Firewalls and NATs and proxy caches, oh my.
Firewalls and NATs and proxy caches, oh my.

[2] http://home.cfl.rr.com/mmeara/page4e.htm

> (i'm being funny, but seriously kick your web guys in the ass.

My current fantasy involves a lot more than kicking.
Can't... be... reasoned... with...

It's like IT Folks who tell us Microsoft Exchange is the only way an
organization can scale its mail infrastructure.  There's no way to get
the person to think Outside the box.

> If I didnt know now what you are up to, i'd never figure it out)

I'm *still* not sure what I'm up to.  Given the tradeoffs between being
clear on that, or fighting the good fights, I have chosen to spend my
days firefighting and squelching as many bad ideas as I can.

It's tough, though.  Bad ideas spread like viruses.  Good ideas never
seem to have enough white blood cells and interferon. [3]

[3] http://pc65.frontier.osrhe.edu/hs/science/bvirus.htm

Don't cry for me, Argentina.  The truth is, I never left you.
All through my wild days, my mad existence:
I kept my promise, don't keep your distance...


I'd studied your cartoons, radio, music, tv, movies, magazines.
....... .... .......... .. ....... .. ... ... .... .. ......
A smile like the cartoon, tooth for a tooth.
You said that irony was the shackles of youth.
You wore a shirt of violent green, uh-huh.
I never understood the frequency, uh-huh.
  -- REM, "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?"