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Showing posts from April, 2007

The XML Paradox

I have been working on my tutorial for the O'Reilly Tools of Change conference. I'm presenting PDF as a cost-effective option to create revenue from the the backlist as an alternative to XML. As a dedicated markup advocate from the days of SGML, and someone who helped simplify SGML down to XML, I still find it odd to be talking about other kinds of solutions, but I think I learned something from my custom web site customers... The XML Paradox is that XML is a high-quality archival medium, and obviously then, books and scholarly content would make the jump first. It just makes sense that everyone would use the high-value format for the longest-lived, highest value content. Wrong! The economics of publishing have played out the opposite way. The more ephemeral the content, the faster production methods can change. So newspapers were doing full-text databases from very early on. In the scholarly markets, journals are now almost all electronic. Books, however, are only starti…