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w3c|xml| Standard | promotion On the March 25 news, the network's highest standards organization World Wide Web Consortium will soon accelerate the spread of xml-based software. The move will bring benefits to all sectors, from mobile phone operators to television broadcasters and the military sector. However, critics say the methods supported by the World Wide Web Consortium may cause serious compatibility problems as well as other problems.
XML will soon become a way to format and store commercial documents that are widely used in purchase orders. However, proponents of more efficient use of XML say that using XML to represent data is too cumbersome for some applications, such as sending data to set-top boxes and providing interactive programs on the phone.
"XML has become a victim of its own success," says Robin Berjon of the consortium. We've started using XML in a variety of situations. Many areas are not the domain of XML planning applications.
If XML is faster, mobile companies may meet users ' demands for more complex programs. The U.S. Air Force is also interested in using faster XML in embedded computing applications. The U.S. Air Force has a lot of embedded computer applications in jet fighters.
A group of the consortium recently suggested that the consortium should abandon its traditional method of storing XML data in text format and create a standard in binary format instead of the traditional method to solve the problem of faster XML. It is generally agreed that the Working Group's recommendations are a formal standard effort, meaning that the consortium will soon have to make significant changes to the XML standards.
This proposal is still pending the approval of the Consulting Committee of the Consortium and the Director of the consortium. But Liam Quin, the head of the consortium's XML activity, said the campaign to push the binary XML standard would be held later this summer.
This issue has been controversial among XML experts. Experts worry that big changes to the XML specification can cause compatibility problems, and that there are huge obstacles to application.
People who attended the meeting in Boston this February argued that the speed of XML could be improved using different technical methods. According to people attending the meeting, some people even questioned whether it was necessary to use binary XML.
Eric Newcomer, chief executive of the Iona Technology company who attended the meeting, said we should not mess up the XML standards for short-term changes and then let the IT industry fix the problem for a long time. The current XML performance is not that bad, he says.
At present, all the information in the XML file, such as name and address, is represented by text. Binary formats can compress XML data into smaller files, but this kind of file requires a special program to watch. Some companies have made binary formats to meet their different operating system environments or industry needs. Expway, for example, has created a way to store XML data in binary format in the mobile phone and television industry.
The business team leader Berjon said that in these industries bulky XML text files are inappropriate. As a result, XML is not widely used. Fast performance is essential for sending data to devices such as set-top boxes, because consumers cannot tolerate the slow transmission of programs or other information.
Agiledelta is a software company that manufactures compressed and efficient processing of XML data. The company's chief technology officer, John Schneider, says mobile devices are being able to read data more powerfully. However, all of these processing power consumes battery life. The battery still can't keep up with the chip upgrades. Using web-based services based on XML protocols, mobile operators can provide more interactive applications than they currently do to meet users ' needs for applications such as games and calendars, he said. ' Compelling apps can make a big difference, ' says Schneider. This application adds a lot of value, and the more people use it, the more valuable that information is.
At the same time, Sun Microsystems has launched its own program called "Fast Infoset". This program can increase the speed of XML applications anywhere from twice to 10 times times. It is estimated that there are more than 10 kinds of binary MXL formats currently being used and developed. Without trying to improve XML, Quin says, the consortium will seek to create a single binary format approved by the standard organization, rather than allowing multiple formats for different purposes.
There are other people who think that a variety of binary formats are needed. Microsoft does not support the MXL to create a single binary XML format, according to Michael Rys, the program manager for SQL Server database, a member of the consortium's query team. There will be more than one binary XML format, he said. It is not possible for the consortium to determine a single format optimized for more than 10 different goals. Another concern for the consortium is whether significant changes to the XML standards, such as binary XML formats, can be widely used or overlooked.
To process XML data transmitted over the Internet, the device requires an XML parsing software. The resolution software currently in use needs to be upgraded to allow the computer to read the XML data in both text and binary format. If this technical specification is not replicated, software developers may not take advantage of faster XML.
Proponents of XML point out that. The application of the XML 1.1 specification is much slower than expected. For example, Microsoft decided not to support the XML 1.1 specification because of concerns that it was incompatible with programs written in XML 1.0.
The Iona Company's newcomer points out that there are several different options to make XML run more quickly. Some methods require a complete rewrite of the current parsing software, rather than a simple upgrade method for minor modifications.
If the consortium polls support the promotion of a binary XML standard, a workgroup will be formed this summer and a technical specification is to be completed in three years ' time. To allay concerns and solicit feedback, the consortium will hold various public hearings around the world to hear the views of the parties. ' There's a lot of controversy about the issue, so I can't predict the outcome, ' says Quin.
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