W3C kickstarts MicroXML development
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards body has announced the formation of the MicroXML Community Group. The goal of the group is to design a subset of the Extensible Markup Language (XML) for use in situations when using traditional XML is considered too bulky or complex. Community Groups of the W3C are designed to allow individuals to provide input on new technologies and concepts, without giving them full W3C standard status. These groups often influence future W3C standards, however.
MicroXML is being designed to be easy to use and backwards compatible with the XML standard. To achieve this, the group plans to keep the specification much smaller than the one governing the use of XML and MicroXML's data model is also intended to be easier to use.
Among those involved in the development of the new specification are James Clark, former technical lead of the XML standard for the W3C, and John Cowan from LexisNexis, who used to represent Google at the consortium. Cowan is also responsible for the initial draft of the new specification and has written a Java-based parser for the format; he has called this MicroLark in homage to Tim Bray's original XML processor. A Python implementation of a MicroXML parser has also been created.
Interested individuals will find an introduction to MicroXML on IBM's developerWorks portal which has been authored by Uche Ogbuji of web development firm Zepheira. Furthermore, the MicroXML Community Group is open for anyone to join who wants to take part in the preparation of the standard.