Tuesday, 20 September 2016

The fall of XML

Talk to software developers today and they will tell you that 'XML is toast'. XML has not been replaced by any single technology. It is not JSON that has killed off XML; it is the mobile Web and associated technologies. Digital humanists who think that XML is here to stay, and imagine that they can continue to build software on top of it, should take a look at the following graphic, derived from Stackoverflow, one of the most popular discussion forums for software developers. HTML, Javascript, JSON and CSS have collectively supplanted XML, and these technologies no longer have any need of it. You may say 'Who cares what software developers think?' But they are the guys who build and maintain the tools that digital humanists use. If they abandon XML then those tools will soon perish or become obsolete, disconnected from the services they were designed to support.

When the World's way is running East,
    Keep your way running West;
And it is two to one, at least,
    That yours will be the best.

Charles Harpur