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September, 1999: Introduction to XML

At our September meeting, Marc Rochkind and Tom Cargill gave complementary talks that provided us with a great overview of the structure and capabilities of XML. Much useful information can be obtained at

Mark began by telling us that he doesn't know anything about XML, and hasn't been using it-- and then proceeded to show us the limitations of HTML and how XML solves them. Marc used the example of an HTML table showing clothing items and prices, and how a Web search engine has no semantic means to interpret the table as giving the prices in column 2 for the items in column 1. Further, few people write syntatically-correct HTML. This works fine for Web browsers, which loosely interpret it, but it makes it very difficult for tools to make semantic interpretations of syntatically-inconsitent data. Marc's presentation can be found at:

Tom began his talk with the claim that XML isn't as useful for Web-based utilities as it is for programs which read, manipulate, and write data-- in other words, everything. Tom gave examples of the plethora of tools that are becoming available for reading in XML data descriptions, manipulating it, and writing it back out. Tom's presentation is available in Portable Document Format: ./XML/cargill.pdf.

Four speakers gave brief overviews of what they're doing with XML:

  • John Meier of Freshtech discussed his use of XML in performance monitoring of Web servers that deliver dynamic content
  • Wally Wedel of Sun Microsystems presented an XML-based graphics package
  • Bruce Haddon, also of Sun, discussed the role of XML in Sun's Jiro initiative for integrated storage management. His presentation is available in PDF format at: ./XML/haddon.pdf
  • Dick Hackathorn, of WebFarming, gave a brief presentation on his company's use of XML to discover and acquire web content for systematic business intelligence

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February 15, 2009

February 2008: FRUUG Enters Quiescent Phase
After 27 years running, we're suspending operations.

Future Meetings:
None planned

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