W3C XML is Ten!

Community Invited to Celebrate XML Everywhere

Contact Americas, Australia --
Ian Jacobs, <ij@w3.org>, +1.718.260.9447 or +1.617.253.2613
Contact Europe, Africa and the Middle East --
Marie-Claire Forgue, <mcf@w3.org>, +33.492.38.75.94
Contact Asia --
Yasuyuki Hirakawa <chibao@w3.org>, +81.466.49.1170

(also available in French and Japanese; see also translations in other languages)

http://www.w3.org/ -- 12 February 2008 -- To mark the ten year anniversary of the publication of its Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0 as a W3C Recommendation, the World Wide Web Consortium plans throughout 2008 to recognize and thank the dedicated communities and individuals responsible for XML for their contributions — including people who have participated in W3C's XML groups and mailing lists, the SGML community, and xml-dev — through a variety of activities and events. XML is a simple, open, and flexible format used to exchange a wide variety of data on and off the Web. The success of XML is a strong indicator of how dedicated individuals, working within the W3C Process, can engage with a larger community to produce industry-changing results.

W3C XML is Everywhere

"There is essentially no computer in the world, desk-top, hand-held, or back-room, that doesn't process XML sometimes," said Tim Bray of Sun Microsystems. "This is a good thing, because it shows that information can be packaged and transmitted and used in a way that's independent of the kinds of computer and software that are involved. XML won't be the last neutral information-wrapping system; but as the first, it's done very well."

Indeed, one can hardly get through the day without using technology that is based on XML in some fashion. When you fill your auto tank with gas, XML often flows from pump to station. When you configure your digital camera, on some models you do so via XML-based graphical controls. When you plug it into a computer, the camera and the operating system communicate with each other in XML. When you download digital music, the software you use to organize it is likely to store information about songs as XML. And when you explore the planet Mars, XML goes with you; see the story about open source on Mars.

W3C XML a Community Effort

W3C would like to extend congratulations to the participants of the XML Working Group that created the standard: Jon Bosak, Paula Angerstein, Tim Bray (co-Editor), James Clark, Dan Connolly, Steve DeRose, Dave Hollander, Eliot Kimber, Tom Magliery, Eve Maler, Murray Maloney, Makoto Murata, Joel Nava, Conleth O'Connell, Jean Paoli (co-Editor), Peter Sharpe, C. M. Sperberg-McQueen (co-Editor), and John Tigue.

"The tenth anniversary of XML is a good time to reflect on the reasons for its creation," said Jon Bosak, the Sun Microsystems Distinguished Engineer who organized and led the W3C Working Group that produced the XML 1.0 Recommendation. "XML and its associated standards have conferred so many technical benefits over the years that it's easy to lose track of the forces that motivated the industry to base future web development on a profile of an International Standard, SGML (ISO 8879:1986). Underlying all the technical work was a struggle between users and vendors over the ownership of data. Sun Microsystems sponsored the effort to make XML the standard for web data because we knew that the alternative was a closed, non-interoperable format. Today we celebrate the success of open standards in preserving web data from vendor lock-in. The struggle is far from over, but I'm proud that Sun was able to foster a development that can someday make vendor-independent data a reality."

XML is an interoperable standard that supports internationalization, extensibility, composition, and persistence (because the format is open and can also be read by humans in a pinch); learn more about XML-based data formats. XML is supported by a rich toolkit of related standards, including XSLT (for transforming XML content), XQuery (for querying XML databases), Document Object Model (for access in a programming environment), XML Schema, and XML Signature and Encryption. XML interoperability has made it a natural choice for defining both document formats (such as SVG or VoiceXML) and services (both SOAP-based and HTTP-based).

W3C Continues to Invest in XML

W3C has invested in the maintenance of XML since it was first published. Specification maintenance can be a thankless task, but the XML Core Working Group has worked to ensure that community bug reports lead to corrections of the specification. Indeed, on 5 February the XML Core Working Group published a Fifth Edition of XML 1.0 as a Proposed Edited Recommendation, inviting the community to review the latest round of changes. W3C also takes this opportunity to thank the XML Core Working Group, and in particular to co-Chairs Paul Grosso and Norm Walsh for their dedication.

Join the W3C XML10 Celebration

As part of the W3C XML10 Celebration, W3C aims to include video interviews of people in the XML community, and to distribute XML10 goodies at XML-related events throughout 2008. To support these projects, W3C has invited W3C Members to become XML10 Sponsors. W3C would like to thank the FLWOR Foundation for their generous support of XML10.

Using the XML10 Greeting Card, please tell us about your blog entries, videos, articles, XML deployment facts, and other thoughts about XML. Submitted greetings will be public.

About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. W3C primarily pursues its mission through the creation of Web standards and guidelines designed to ensure long-term growth for the Web. Over 400 organizations are Members of the Consortium. W3C is jointly run by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France and Keio University in Japan,and has additional Offices worldwide. For more information see http://www.w3.org/