October 20, 1997
Seybold Report on Internet Publishing
Vol 2, No 2
DataChannel is interesting as an early implementor of XML, a standard that should substantively change the art of publishing on the Internet. Document markup may be used for more than just formatting, and right now Web developers are just starting to latch onto structured markup as a handle for controlling the flow of information. Pool, for example, views XML as "a content-routing protocol with extensibility rules" that can invoke a process. In other words, the markup can drive the timing and nature of publishing as well as its appearance. To see adoption of XML this early for this purpose confirms that the rewrite of SGML is meeting one of the objectives of the XML project, namely, to put the rules of SGML structured markup into a form that speaks to mainstream programmers.
Tigue calls DataChannel’s use of XML and Java the marriage of the universal executable and the universal data format—giving Java arbitrarily complex data to manipulate. But the success of the DataChannel offspring of this marriage will depend on both its ability to continue to grow and develop, and on the speed with which XML can propagate to create a friendly environment.