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Extensible Markup Language (XML) Activity Statement

The Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a simple, flexible text format derived from SGML (ISO 8879). The W3C created and maintais the XML specification. The W3C is also the primary center for developing other cross-industry specifications that are based on XML. Some of these are done within the XML Activity, such as XML Query and XML Schema, and some (such as SVG) in other W3C areas. The XML Activity tries to keep a balance between maintaining stability and backwards compatibility, making improvements that help to encourage interoperability, and bringing new communities into the world of XML.

Highlights since the previous W3C Advisory Committee meeting

Low W3C staff resources in the XML Activity meant that much work was done without technical staff involvement. However, the Activity was renewed with new charters.

Overall, XML has seen a resurgence in uptake because of the publishing industry. Producing multiple output formats for documents, such as PDF, print, EPUB and more, from the same input source, was one of the original design goals for XML, and the maturity of the XML toolchain has made it a good and safe choice. W3C has started work in the area of digital publishing as a separate Activity, but the XML work remains within the XML Activity.

The XML Print and Page Layout Working Group (working on XSL-FO for formatting) was closed because of a lack of participation.

The XML Schema Working Group was closed because it has successfully completed its primary chartered work.

Upcoming Activity Highlights

XSLT 3 is attracting interest wth its support for streaming of large documents. XQuery 3.1 and XSLT 3.0 will have an increased level of support for working with the JSON format, as well as higher order functions and an associative dictionary data structure (maps).

XProc, the the XML pipelining language, has been gaining industry traction. The XML Processing Working Group is working on requirements for a version 2.0.

Efficient XML (EXI) is used in places where it cannot be seen, such as between a computer and a digital camera; a new EXI version may increase visibility.

The XML Core Working Group has taken on some work on XML Security, as well as continuing infrastructure-level work.

Summary of Activity Structure

GroupChairTeam ContactCharter
Efficient XML Interchange Working Group
Takuki KamiyaCarine BournezChartered until 31 May 2015
XML Coordination Group
Paul GrossoLiam QuinChartered until 31 May 2015
XML Core Working Group
Paul Grosso, Norman WalshLiam QuinChartered until 31 May 2015
XML Processing Model Working Group
Norman WalshLiam QuinChartered until 31 May 2016
XML Query Working Group
Jim Melton, Andrew ColemanLiam QuinChartered until 31 May 2015
XSLT Working Group
Sharon AdlerLiam Quin, Carine BournezChartered until 31 May 2015

This Activity Statement was prepared for AC 2014 per section 5 of the W3C Process Document. Generated from group data.

Liam R. E. Quin, XML Activity Lead

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