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XML.com: When XML gets ugly

Mar 04, 2000, 01:27 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Simon ST. Laurent)

"The XML Web dreams of a world where machines can read information readily from the web. That information might be static or dynamically generated, and is referenced by a URI. This lets programs grab information using standardized protocols..."

"Sadly, there are some real problems with this dream that threaten too the larger dream of the semantic Web."

"The first relatively simple problem with the XML Web is the unpredictability introduced by XML's tools for referencing external resources, making it difficult to predict when and even if those resources will arrive."

"... into more dangerous waters, Megginson noted how much the XML community trusts each other: "I take code from James Clark and Tim Bray and run it-sometimes even with 'root' privileges. That's bone-head stupid! Because we're all friends, we feel pretty good for now." The audience response made it fairly clear that David wasn't the only doing this.

"While this kind of trust is appropriate to business transactions in prearranged and typically secure relationships, there's a problem as soon as those transactions are generalized and begin to rely on shared resources."

"In the earliest phase of attacks, Megginson described ways to use cascading style sheets to vandalize sites which depend on them."

Complete story.