W3C XML is Ten!

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Community Invited to Celebrate XML Everywhere

Member Testimonials


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/


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

Testimonials for "W3C XML is Ten!"


IBM congratulates W3C on the 10th anniversary of XML. XML is truly the 'language of the new web' and is one of the most significant Internet standards to emerge since the birth of the Web. It is the cornerstone of interoperability in the heterogeneous world that the Web ties together, providing for open industry standard, platform- and programming language-independent data integration, document management, and distributed computing. IBM is proud to have played a leadership role in the development of XML and also other key related technologies including XML Query, XSL, XML Schema and SOAP which have expanded on XML's foundation. IBM's market leading product families (WebSphere, Lotus, DB2, Tivoli and Rational) in combination with our market leading services offerings have embraced XML in providing real-world SOA solutions that span all customer segments (from manufacturing to finance, and government to health care & life sciences).

Karla Norsworthy, VP IBM Software Standards


In the long story started by SML, then SGML, Web SGML and now XML, Innovimax is sure that XML after ten years is now an unescapable technology. It is stable, reliable, and the basis of a huge ecosystem. Innovimax provides strong added values to help you find what part of XML ecosystem fit you best.

Mohamed ZERGAOUI, CTO, Innovimax


In 1997 Bill Gates told audiences "XML is a breakthrough technology" and since the inception of XML, Microsoft is proud of its role in collaborating with W3C to make that prediction a reality. The 1998 Recommendation provided a critical step on the road toward interoperable data and documents. Today XML is deeply supported in Windows Vista, Office, Internet Explorer, SQL Server, .NET Framework, Windows Live, and many other Microsoft products used by hundreds of millions of people. Going forward, document standards such as Office Open XML will provide cross-vendor interoperability and other XML benefits to a growing audience worldwide.

Jean Paoli, Co-Editor of the W3C XML 1.0 Standard and General Manager Microsoft Interoperability and XML Architecture

Sun Microsystems

Happy birthday, XML. We're excited to see you growing up!

It's axiomatic that great innovations are often right underneath our noses. So it was with the creation of the Extensible Markup Language (XML), which grew out of the publishing world and its Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML). SGML allowed for the definition of human- and machine-readable "tag sets" that gave rise to interoperable structured documents. SGML made it easy for users to assemble a single document from many sources and to validate correct document structure, which vastly simplified data publishing and management and empowered document creators. It thus became enormously valuable to people responsible for large, complex document sets, such as technical documentation for a Boeing 747 plane or a Sun server.

In the early 1990s, many who worked on the SGML standard realized that its constructs would apply equally well to the World Wide Web. They also realized that the technology would be most beneficial if it were an open technical IT standard like other core Internet technologies, available for public review and discussion and without any impediments to implementation, such as licensing fees and restrictions. In 1996, Jon Bosak of Sun Microsystems accepted a challenge from Dan Connolly of the World Wide Web Consortium to develop a profile of SGML designed for web use. Bosak's involvement in the standards world allowed him to quickly assemble a world-class group of SGML experts chartered to create "SGML for the Web," now known as XML. Two years, countless emails and Sun-sponsored teleconference calls later -- XML was created "virtually" without a single in-person meeting -- XML 1.0 became a W3C Recommendation.

Along with TCP/IP, FTP, NFS, HTML, and HTTP, XML has driven innovation and progress across industries by making the Internet more useful and usable. The global impact of XML is probably incalculable. XML's simplification of data management and exchange has added enormous value: data management has been estimated to account for 60 to 80 percent of IT budgets, and there's no doubt XML has allowed IT projects to save money and concentrate on higher-value outcomes. To take one example, small companies can now use the XML-based ebXML e-business standards to communicate business data as securely as with EDI but at a significantly lower cost. XML has driven innovation, integration, and collaboration in almost every industry, from healthcare -- almost all the various specifications outlined in the U.S. Nationwide Health Information Network are based on XML -- to the auto industry and government. The adoption of XML was largely responsible for the adoption of Unicode. XML underlies service-oriented architectures, web feeds, and ODF, the first truly open international IT standard for office document formats.

Sun is proud to have organized and led XML's development. Beyond its technical merits, its success owes much to the support offered by the W3C community in creating a truly open standard. This open nature ensures that XML will continue to evolve as creative minds take it in directions its founders never dreamed of, with interoperability always in reach.

What will be the next revolution in software design and network computing? We have a lot of ideas. But one thing we can safely predict is that it will be freely available to all and standardized with full community involvement.

Bill Smith, Sr. Director Business Strategy, Sun Microsystems



Dans la grande histoire des languages SML, SGML, Web SGML et désormais XML, Innovimax est persuadée qu'XML, après dix années, est dorénavant une technologie incontournable. Elle est stable, sûre et la base d'un gigantesque écosystème. Innovimax vous apportera toute sa valeur ajoutée afin que de trouver avec vous quelle part de cet écosystème maximisera votre investissement.

Mohamed ZERGAOUI, Directeur de l'innovation, Innovimax

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