Letter to the Editor

I really enjoyed the article "The real benefit of XML" by Tom Bragg [Federal Computer Week, May 22, 2000] and thought he was right on many issues.

I am an ex-Navy submariner who is now working as a Java programmer at BuildWBT.com. I have been developing code for different companies (Raytheon, EDS) since I got out of the military and have found there is always a struggle getting disparate systems to communicate. [This problem] existed in the military, and it exists in the corporate world. Tom's article pointed out that it exists in the civilian federal market as well.

I want you to know that Tom is right. XML works and it works now. I'm part of it, I use it daily and, more than anything, it works. Though XML will not be a panacea, it will go a long way in providing solutions in a world where time is in such short supply.

The use of Document Type Definitions (DTD) will really help, if industries/markets/contractors will provide them on the Net to places like http://www.xml.org for everyone's use. That will create an extensive library of DTDs to use. Planning a DTD is actually the hardest part of using XML. XML is worth more than a serious look, for any organization with data that must be shared.

Thank you for publishing Tom's clearly written article that calls attention to a working solution available to the federal market today. Now if they will just adopt it.

Bob Paris

New London, Connecticut

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