How to cite this paper

Cagle, Kurt. “Open data and the XML community.” Presented at Balisage: The Markup Conference 2009, Montréal, Canada, August 11 - 14, 2009. In Proceedings of Balisage: The Markup Conference 2009. Balisage Series on Markup Technologies, vol. 3 (2009).

Balisage: The Markup Conference 2009
August 11 - 14, 2009

Balisage Paper: Open data and the XML community

Kurt Cagle

Kurt Cagle is a writer, information architect and developer specializing in XML and Web Technologies. He has authored more than fifteen books and hundreds of articles on XML based technologies such as XSLT, SVG, XUL, XForms, computer ethics and more, and writes the blog He has most recently been working with the Firefox browser and Mozilla technologies, as well as XML based languages such as XBL, trying to push what he sees as the re-emergence of client-based programming. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and daughters, where he can usually be found staring out the window at the falling rain while drinking coffee at local coffeehouses.


The world of XML is changing. Large super schemas like OOXML, XBRL, NIEMs, HL7, and so on, push the limits of existing XML software, while also encouraging the creation of ecosystems built around them, in order to exploit the large quantities of important data now or soon to be available in these formats. Standardization around these formats is driven less by existing proprietary formats and less by industry consortia than by government adoption. The super schemas are often formulated less as definitions of single concrete vocabularies than as meta-definitions of families of vocabularies. The confluence of emerging Open Data standards, the government-as-database conjecture, and a shift towards RESTful services will serve to turbocharge the XML community.