El.pub Analytic Issue Number 2
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Contents: Introduction of .NET | XML joins the fun | Too many tag sets? Too much data? | ASP and peer-to-peer too | Does it all stand up?
One of the difficulties in achieving this vision lies in the necessity of standardising the tags. The idea of having fixed tags was once anathema to the SGML community. However, if most tags are generated by applications automatically and human readability is dropped as a condition, then this might be less of a problem.
A more serious difficulty with the .NET scenario is, in my view, the idea that in some sense all the information on the Internet (or just the Web) could be at the immediate call of users. The growth of the volume of information on the Web has already reduced the coverage available from search engines to an unacceptable level for many research tasks, and this is particularly true where timely information is important.
There seems to be an assumption, behind the .NET concept of information and processing being carried on in the 'clouds' of the Internet, of massive background computing that provides a layer of semi-processed information that is accessible to users. This concept is not spelt out in the .NET map and how it is to be achieved is not explained.
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