13 February 2006

XML Made Extravagant and Extraordinary

One of the most interesting areas in the world of open standards is the OpenDocument format, which promises to do to Microsoft Office what GNU/Linux is doing to Windows Server. I'm on various mailing lists related to this, and on one of them, from the standards body OASIS, a press release turned up in my inbox today. It proudly informed me that "its members have approved the Election Markup Language (EML) version 1.0 as an OASIS Standard, a status that signifies the highest level of ratification."

The OASIS press release told me that "EML provides a high-level overview of the processes within an electronic voting system and XML schemas for the various data interchange points between the e-voting processes," but naturally I wanted more than this dry description. So I went off to find out more. And the place I turned to was one of the most extraordinary sites on the Internet: the Cover Pages (hosted, in fact, by the self-same OASIS).

This, basically, is the fount of all wisdom for XML standards. And since XML lies at the heart of open data (and OpenDocument), this makes the Cover Pages one of the central sites for the open world. Naturally, it had all the details on EML. And here to whet your appetite are a few more of the XML Applications listed:

Weather Markup Language
Intrusion Detection Message Exchange Format
Historical Event Markup and Linking
Open Philanthropy Exchange
Green Building XML
Robotic Markup Language
Meaning Definition Language

The only question I have is how one man - since the Cover Pages seem to be the work of Robin Cover - can possibly stay on top of what seems to be all human life, neatly expressed as an XML application. Gaze, wonder and be grateful.

No comments: