Subject: Re: Opening up data interchange formats (e.g., book catalogs)
From: Rich Morin <rdm@cfcl.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Jul 1999 09:53:25 -0700

At 2:06 PM +0900 7/5/99, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
>But until browsers are supporting XML well (do any?), it's throwing
>money down the tubes from the point of view of any individual company.

Although XML will play a large role in browser use, there is another
function which it can play now.  Specifically, it is a standardized
way for disparate applications to exchange information.  Just as HTML
enables many-to-many interchange of information between individuals,
XML can enable many-to-many interchange of information between apps.

Let's assume that ORA and the other publishers use OCLC tags as their
starting point and coordinate on additions.  Fairly trivial applications
could then be written (e.g., as Perl scripts or Sherlock plug-ins) to
scan publishers' catalogs for desired information.  Although Joe and
Sally Sikspak might not use this, assorted bookstores, libraries, and
reviewers certainly would.

Moreover, it would be fairly trivial to set up a web site which kept
current with all known catalogs and then made the information available
to either browsers or XML apps.  In short, we don't have to wait for
the browser writers to get with the program...

-r
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