The Two-Way Trip
Wednesday, February 25, 1998 by Dave Winer.
We're entering a new phase in content management software.
With HTML and print technologies, the trip was one-way. You couldn't suck back content that had been rendered and start managing it. Lots of people have tried to do this, whole industries have been built around the idea of moving content from the unmanaged world to management. But it's fraught with problems and basically it isn't a problem that software can solve.
But with XML it isn't a problem. It's totally two-way. If your content is rendered as XML, we can bring it into the world of managed content.
The religion of XML is the same as the religion of content management -- form separated from content. This year we want to render as HTML and Postscript. As long as the content is specified in XML, today's rendering technique doesn't limit us from going forward with new rendering techniques in the future.
As I think about new approaches to content management in view of the development of XML, I keep circling around this idea, and realized that it was time for a new way of thinking. The two-way nature of XML is the reason why.
PS: I can hear the SGML guys saying this is not a new idea. Now it's time for the rest of us to tune into this idea. Please respect my process. Thanks!