a question to the authors ... XML technology is large, huge ... there are XML, XSL, DTD, Schema, Java XML APIs ... and so on. IMHO, XML , just the data representation is not so strategic ... it is just another manner to write data. Moreover, if you write data in XML with very long tag (like this: <datablahblahblahblahblah>me</datablahblahblahblahblah> ) it is a hot bottleneck when exchanging this XML structure over network. XML is the "Buzz" word of the moment. Certains IT people have the bad idea to use XML, whereas they could declare their own protocol, more performant. SO... XML (just writing XML data structures) is NOT so strategic, and it could be a huge bullsh*t ! IMHO, concerning what will be strategic in the future, is the definition of DTDs and Shemas for B2B (like ebXML, CommerceOne, RosettaNet) ... the transformation of XML into another data format (use of XSL) is not so strategic, I mean just for people who want to have more than one diffusion channel on their website.
Let me first say that I am not an expert but I have worked with applications which deal with XML and those that do not. I would have to agree that there is the potential for XML to add bloat but it's strength is not the fact that you can represent data in XML format but that you can define the format in which the data is represented and enforce standards (whihc I think you make mention of). XML for the sake of XML is not necessarily a great thing (not necessarily bad either) but using XML and DTD's together to enforce standards in exchanging information is.
Perhaps, the whole point of the book is when XML is "strategic", hence the title? As for XSLT, I see one strategic uses for XSLT, compliance with legacy applications. If you have old apps that expect a certain input format, that format is only an XSL away.
I thought I'd let this thread rest for a while to see what everyone else had to say. Obviously, I must think that there are strategic uses of XML, or I wouldn't have bothered to write the book :-) And Guillaume is right, there is a huge potential for misapplying the technology and generating more headaches for yourself. But when used to solve the right sorts of problems, there really aren't any substitutes. ------------------ W. Scott Means author, Strategic XML email@example.com