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XML Without Tears

XML Without Tears



The question has been raised more than once: is it possible to realize the benefits of intelligent content without using XML? It is a very good question which deserves a good answer. The fact of the ...

The question has been raised more than once: is it possible to realize the benefits of intelligent content without using XML? It is a very good question which deserves a good answer. The fact of the matter is that, today, the answer is a qualified “No.”



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    XML Without Tears XML Without Tears Document Transcript

    • 2/24/2012 XML without Tears Intelligent Content 2012 Joe Gollner, M.Phil. Gnostyx Research Inc. jag@gnostyx.com www.gnostyx.com www.gollner.caCopyright © Joe Gollner 2012 @joegollnerCase Study: Regulatory Structured Content Background Regulatory Agency for the Energy Sector managing: • Regulations • Process Documentation • Submissions • Public Consultation Outcomes • Judgments Pressures: • Growing volume & complexity of regulations & submissions • Growing complexity of the consultation process • To bring costs under control or even reduce them • Maintain or even shorten the process cycle times 1
    • 2/24/2012Case Study: Regulatory Structured Content Three Key Ingredients Top Tier Management Consulting Firm • Conducted a comprehensive process review • Collaborated with stakeholders to re-envision the future Content Management Consulting Firm • Facilitated a wide-ranging analysis & modeling activity • Developed target content models with rich semantics Content Management & Publishing Technology Vendors • Engaged to tailor their tools to support • The re-envisioned business process • Fully customized authoring environmentsCase Study: Outcome How do you think this turned out? 2
    • 2/24/2012Case Study: Outcome DisasterWhat Went Wrong? Over-indulgence in meaningful [semantic] markup Insanely complex authoring experience Insanely complex authoring tool customizations Insanely complex authoring support tools • Auto-complete • Validation • Packaging Insanely complex processing scenarios [publishing] Target vision disconnected from reality in key ways Naively transgressed obvious legal boundaries • Attempted to automate formatting submission after receipt Generated unsustainable maintenance costs 3
    • 2/24/2012Lessons Learned<$ Element element-name > Semantics come at a price and must be associated with a concrete use Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) defined a Document Type Definition (DTD) as “rules defined by an application”Markup Considered Harmful Is there any value in using meaningful [semantic] markup? Theodor (Ted) Holm Nelson and Infrastructures for Information, Inc. 4
    • 2/24/2012But You Said XML without Tears XML without Tears Intelligent Content 2012 Take TwoCopyright © Joe Gollner 2012 5
    • 2/24/2012Basic Markup: HTML Formatting Markup Content Models Processing & Results Expedites online delivery Shouldn’t +$ have cost much but did Formatting -$ Minimum investment Didn’t get in XHTML Web Pages the way…Inline Semantic Markup Different story Content Models Processing & Results Cost of processing semantic +$ markup is real -$ Semantics Benefits mainly seen in +$ more filtered formatting Formatting -$ The outcome XML / DITA Multiple Products is debateable 6
    • 2/24/2012Balanced Markup: Just Enough Semantics Semantic Models Content Models Processing & Results +$ Semantics -$ +$ Formatting -$Semantic models provide semantic markup with the rigor needed to become really usefulAdvanced Markup: Progression from Balanced Semantic Models Content Models Processing & Results +$ Semantics -$ +$ Formatting -$ More comprehensive semantic models co-evolve with inline semantic markup 7
    • 2/24/2012Can we have Intelligent Content sans XML?Intelligent Content in a Normal Office Two Answers Even when you are trying to not use XML, you are probably using XML • MS Office / SharePoint Any application larger than an eggcup will need to interoperate with other applications • Exchanging information • Permitting extensibility to support interoperability Frankenstein goes mobile 8
    • 2/24/2012So Explain to Me Again Why We Need XML?Real Content Resists Definitive Categorization Real Content Demands Special attention 9
    • 2/24/2012The Human Face of Intelligent Content The Web & XML united Browser based authoring Strong object metadata supporting discovery Container elements providing semantic guidance Content input as XHTML using common widgets Minimal inline semantic markup Attractive benefits profile Easily extensible over timeAsking Questions & Raising Objectionsor just making connections…Joe GollnerGnostyx Research Inc.www.gnostyx.comjag@gnostyx.comThe Content Philosopher Blogwww.gollner.ca 10