Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Wednesday Keynote: Unleashing the power of XML

Unleashing the power of XML

Presenter: Darin McBeath, Chief Architect, Elsevier (

Reed Elsevier - Reed Business, Harcourt Education, LexisNexis, Elsevier (Science & Medical)

Founded in 1880

1987-1994 LexisNexis markup was very flat and intended mainly to support fielded queries.

1994 Reed Elsevier PLC bought Mead Data Central (including LexisNexis) for $1.5BN

1996 ScienceDirect (Reed Elsevier Science Journals) - High quality SGML markup for STM publishing.

1999 XML Gateway (Engineering Village)

2001 Web Services

2002 Elsevier warehouse migrates to XML
  • componentized DTDs
  • common element pools
  • published DTDs (Article, Book)
  • packaging standard
2004 Scopus (ability to search 15000 Journals online)
  • J2EE
  • All XML
2006 All XML all the time

Biggest Challenges that XML poses for publishers:
  • migration of proprietary content
  • performance (finely tuned proprietary solutions are faster than generic XML solutions)
  • retraining
  • over/misuse
  • industry acceptance of XML standards
  • XML knowledge is confined to the technical groups
Main benefits of XML
  • portability
  • non proprietary
  • human readable
  • repurposing
  • standards
  • validation
Main weaknesses of XML
  • namespaces
  • XML Schema is overly complex
  • everyone can do it
  • external entity resolution
  • evolving standards
  • performance
XQuery is an important new technology for publishing

XQuery (and XML Databases)

  • No need to shred documents for storage
  • Agile development
  • No Predefined granularity
  • Simplicity (no need for separate database schema)
  • Next generation publishing platform
  • Content repurposing
  • Fabrication
  • Mashups
XQdocs - XQuery documentation tool

The Future
  • mind the gap
  • mashups (Web 2.0)
  • levels of intermediation
  • focus on markup
  • local distribution of content
  • partnerships


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