For the innately curious (which I suppose you are if you are viewing this), I am, as my login proclaims, an XML Guru.

Not that I set out to be.

Along life's path I became involved in semantically-structured documents (SGML). Of course, HTML is a grammar of SGML. In the Web's early days (pre-1991), the US government faced a dilemma: huge amounts of information and the need to structure it semantically AND to give it a presentation layer.

There was a problem, however: HTML, particularly in its early incarnations, was only loosely hierarchal and the matter of the content's semantic meaning was next to nil. To complicate matters, the Web had caught on with the public, and soon so-called Web developers were perpetuating bad markup practices ad nauseum by using tables for design, proprietary markup and the like. So when the concept of XML was bandied about the W3C, along with HTML 4.01 and CSS, the government was extremely interested.

All of this is a round-about way of saying I have been doing this for a long time. And unlike certain politicians, I cannot claim to have invented the Internet (nor its underlying grammars); however, I was one of the early "surveyors," if you will, when the Information Superhighway was still being laid out.

Since its inception, I have made a point of studying, testing and implementing various XML-based technologies. Not only because they are "cool," but because they make eminent sense. Throughout all this, I have been akin to a UN Observer in the Browser Wars. It is now a growing paradigm that the information is key and the manner of presentation to a User Agent secondary. To those getting aboard with that development philosophy: welcome to the bandwagon.

I have one passion in all of this: separation of content and presentation, and the maintenance of the content's semantic meaning. All of this is "new" for many -- the hype with Web 2.0, AJAX and so forth: yet some of us have (to varying degrees of success), implemented these "visionary" practices since the beginning of the Web. Frankly, I am glad the buzz is on regarding these methodologies: they can only make my development life easier.


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