Monday, June 28, 2004

Hardware solution for XML?

From Federal Computer Week:

"XML is big, bulky and verbose," said Tom Rhinelander, an analyst at New Rowley Group Inc., a technology market research and analysis firm. XML processing can consume network resources, causing "a slow but steady decline" in network performance, he said.

Coming to the rescue is a cavalry of dedicated XML-accelerator appliances and chips. These solutions — a few are ready for purchase, but most are still in testing — perform one or more essential XML-handling functions, usually data translation and sometimes security.

New challenge

Owen Ambur, chief XML strategist at the Interior Department, said the large volume of XML-based documents presents a "new and growing challenge, which is taking some IT professionals by surprise."

The same data transmitted without XML uses much less bandwidth, but XML provides critical context for the applications that process the data. "Data without context is meaningless, as well as subject to misunderstanding and confusion," Ambur said.

Analysts estimate that XML bloats data by about 40 percent to 50 percent, compared to marking up the same data in HTML, which is used to present data in a Web browser so users can view it.

I don't remember hearing about the question of bandwidth during meetings of the XML Work Group.

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