On OPML and XML and Darwinian evolution

by Lee Hopkins on March 21, 2006 · 4 comments

in miscellaneous

OPMLThere’s an interesting discussion starting up over on Shel (the more handsome one)’s blog.

It concerns OPML and what use it is for communication.

  • Is it just another bit of coding technology that someone invented one day because they were bored?
  • Is it another piece of jargon that we have to pretend we understand so that we don’t appear foolish and luddite in a group of techies and webbie early-adopters?

It would appear not.

Apparently, OPML allows one to collate data and integrate that data into larger data sets.

So, for example, one can collect demographic data about a county, then incorporate that data automatically into a dataset at a state level; then that data can be included in a region or country-wide dataset.

So far so good.

But where I get confused is where does this leave XML, the backbone (allegedly) of the last two iterations of the biggest selling office productivity software in the world, Microsoft Office?

  • Has OPML replaced XML?
  • Are the two functionally and philosophically different?
  • If so, why?
  • What are the implications for communicators (and in particular we business communicators)?

In a world that refreshes itself on an almost daily basis–the world of web technology–the challenge to keep up with the latest tech buzzwords (ajax, opml, css, css-p, xhtml, fortran, cobol, c++bbc basic…) is relentless. Is ‘ajax’ just old javascript with a new coat of paint, for example?

But keep abreast we must, if for no other reason than the 20-somethings who are coming out of university and college will know all this stuff and place greater pressure on us for our continued employment. Sure, we can bring to the management table our experience and expertise, honed over long hours, of grammar, visual layout, nuanced conversation, psychological imperatives for better communciation results. But if we don’t watch our backs and mind our jargon our jobs, as it has always been, will be at risk.

Darwinian evolution in a business communication world.

Ben, Dan, Andy, anyone — any insights?


  

Some OPML resources, courtesy of :

http://www.wynia.org/experiments/opmlsampler/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OPML
http://www.opml.org/

  • Bryan Person

    Lee, I’m one of those twentysomehings (though that label will no longer apply by year’s end), but I must admit I can’t follow all of the alphabet soup recipes either.

    Though I don’t really understand OPML, I do know that I can export an OPML file out of one RSS reader and into another. It preserved all of my feeds/channels quite nicely.

    There’s seemingly much more that it can do, however, and I guess I need to keep experimenting to make sure I keep up!

    Also hoping others can fill in the gaps with comments.

  • Bryan Person

    Lee, I’m one of those twentysomehings (though that label will no longer apply by year’s end), but I must admit I can’t follow all of the alphabet soup recipes either.

    Though I don’t really understand OPML, I do know that I can export an OPML file out of one RSS reader and into another. It preserved all of my feeds/channels quite nicely.

    There’s seemingly much more that it can do, however, and I guess I need to keep experimenting to make sure I keep up!

    Also hoping others can fill in the gaps with comments.

  • http://www.leehopkins.net/ Lee

    G’day Bryan,

    Yup — the alphabet soup bowl just keeps filling up, doesn’t it? No sooner do you think you understand ONE acronym then another TEN come along!

  • http://www.leehopkins.net Lee

    G’day Bryan,

    Yup — the alphabet soup bowl just keeps filling up, doesn’t it? No sooner do you think you understand ONE acronym then another TEN come along!

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