Wednesday, February 11, 2009

XML and you

I'm fascinated by XML, and I was really pleased to find this video via the Harper Studio blog that explains what it is and why it's important very simply.  (Please turn off your speakers, though.  The music is horrible.)



  1. XML really is a wonderful little markup language, and the future of the eBook.

  2. This is well beyond the intro to C++ class I took in college! Thanks for passing this on; it was very informative.

    (And you were right about the music, my husband just called from the kitchen "WHAT are you listening to?")

    How do you anticipate this changing book formatting? Certainly it would be interesting to have non-fiction books with links within the text to more resources. Or words that are linked to a glossary. Place names linked to maps... Characters to family trees...

  3. Thanks for your comments, Tiffany. Publishers, moving forward, will be formatting the content of books in XML (or should be). This allows the content to be used more easily in different formats and in different media. This opens a whole new world in finding an audience for the ideas in books.

  4. I've been contemplating how it might affect fiction writers in years to come--aside from the sticky problems involving intellectual rights! I was wondering how it might change the way authors write.

    Ebooks could include author's commentary with the book (like a Director's Commentary on DVDs), alternate endings, and perhaps even alternate versions of the entire book. For example, the author might write the entire book from 3 different POVs, thus allowing the reader to choose the POV of the character they like the most.

    That is, of course, a lot more work for the author, and there would have to be corresponding compensation. As books become a multi-media format, we authors will have to evolve to keep up!


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