"XML is the most fabulous standard since the Universal Flavor
System expanded Pantone's trademark empire from all the known
colors to most of the major flavors including licorice, chicken,
the aftertaste of spoiled pistachios and Type O human blood. But
there's just one small problem: XML is a standard for writing
standards and if those standards don't agree, then we've balkanized
data rather than united it."
"an aircraft maintenance manual may have one set of tags while a
record of an electronic commerce transaction may have a different
one. The problem occurs when two aircraft manufacturers create
different DTDs for the same type of object, or when a merchant and
its suppliers have different tag sets for encoding transaction data
that they're trying to share. ... Either you agree with your
partners on an industry-wide DTD or you come up with a way to
translate one tag set into another. Clearly, the first alternative
is preferable, but just as clearly there are going to be times when
it just ain't gonna happen."
"Enter XSLT, Extensible Stylesheet Language
Transformations, which was recommended for general use by the
W3C in November. It presents a standard way to map tag sets to
one another and even to handle two differing tree structures. XSLT
can also be used to convert an XML document into HTML for display
in a browser, so the tag in the aircraft document called
"Section_Heading" can be translated into an H2 (or whatever) when
the browser goes to put it up on screen."
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