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At the XML Web Services One Conference: Don Box on XML

In his Wednesday evening keynote address, Microsoft architect Don Box entertained and informed a conference room full of attendees with his perspective on the state of XML today. Titled "XML Pushing and Shoving - A Reality Check", the address put the 5-year-old language in a larger historical context, with references to printed circuit boards, Darwinian theory, and the occasional jab at his employer.

“If you work at Microsoft, it’s very easy- there’s one platform,” said Box to laughter during a segment about the difficulties of working with multiple platforms. “Not everybody has that kind of luxury, I understand... though you’ll come around eventually.”

In what could have been taken as a mixed message by many in the audience, Box said the division of labor in the industry is moving from a creation-based model to one which emphasizes the integration of existing applications. “There are far more interesting things to do in the integration space than there are in the actual building and deployment,” he said.

Later in his address, Box, who has previously apologized for his role in what became a tidal wave of often-ignored XML specfications, said that trend may soon be over.

“That’s coming to a halt, we see the end,” he said. “I’ve been to the mountaintop, though I may not get there with you, I’m sure we’ll eventually get there.”

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