New language makes Internet easier to use



    The guest speaker for the Digital Library Seminar will be speaking today on a new Web markup language that will make the Internet more powerful and easier to use.

    Russell Young, the current director of commerce development at Folio, a division of Open Market, Inc., said, “After discussing where XML has come from, I’ll talk about the fundamental ideas which make it so powerful, explain why information that is currently on the web will be much better suited for XML rather that HTML and talk about the impact that XML has for the BYU digital library project.”

    Young said XML, or eXtensible Markup Langauge, is a new meta-language for describing structured documents and data languages. In a news release, Dr. Douglas Campbell, organizer of the Digital Library Seminar, said, “XML has grown out of HTML, which most BYU students experience while surfing the web.”

    Bill Barrett, chair of BYU’s Computer Science Department, said in a news release that Russ “has spoken at several industry conferences on these topics and he has also participated in the W3C committee, an international standards committee, that has developed the XML standard.”

    Young said XML is going to replace HTML, or Hyper-Text Markup Language. He also said XML is going to make the web more powerful and usable, especially for finding information on-line. According to an Open Market, Inc., Web site at, Open Market said it is supporting XML because it will enable customers that rely on its technology to “build their electronic commerce systems to create more compelling publishing and information-rich offerings.”

    “One of the big promises with XML is that you’ll find what your looking for faster,” Young said.

    Campbell said XML will enable web users to be much more specific in telling the computer what they are looking for, so searches will bring up a manageable number of sights. This means BYU students will gain easier access to information on the Internet.

    According to the news release, “XML eliminates the complexity and weakness of present Web markup languages.” This is because XML enables the programmer to “tell the computer exactly what a piece of information is instead of how it looks to the user.”

    Young said he feels everyone who uses the web will benefit from XML because it will make both inputting and finding information on the web easier.

    Young will be speaking today at noon in 4824 HBLL and his presentation is open to the public.

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