Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: RFC: Including story text in the XMLization

Author:Edd Dumbill
Posted:6/20/1999; 12:24:16 AM
Topic:RFC: Including story text in the XMLization
Msg #:7594 (In response to 7591)
Prev/Next:7593 / 7595

I'm uncertain as to whether it's a good idea to keep evolving the XMLNews (tutorial and easy explanation at

As soon as you open it up from abstract to full story you start hitting on those things that writers need that are more than just paragraphs: lists, images, captions, tables etc. All these are already supported in XMLNews for instance. (I'm not claiming XMLNews is necessarily the best format to use as I've not used it for long enough to know).

You're right about this being revolutionary. I would like all CMS systems to support authoring in logical markup and complete the separation between presentation and content: and thus kill off a lot of compatibility and accessibility issues. I think we'll be waiting a little while though. XSL stylesheets (which would be most appropriate for transforming the XML into client-end layout) are still very much in their infancy in tool support. In addition, there's no easy way for users to edit XML documents.

From what I know from both implementing and using CMS systems is that there needs to be a browser-based way of editing these XML documents and using the logical markup. At the moment we don't really have a reasonable way of doing that, as there are no "rich-edit" controls in browsers. From that angle I think Scripting News is doing the right thing: make it so simple to start off with that lack of tool support isn't much of an issue. That way we'll still get early adoption.

So to sum up, I think that at this point it would be a good idea to consider some already established formats. Furthermore, it may be the time to add full-blown XML document import (syndication) support to your CMS (apologies if you already have, I run Linux so I've not used Frontier recently).

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