[ptsefton.com] | [CV & Bio]

XML as hill



The other day I was presenting a publishing / content management system to a VIP client, when I stumbled upon a metaphor. I had drawn various inputs to the system from bottom to top.

I started drawing lines to the outputs. (Not such a clear hierarchy here, we love them all equally, just like our pets. Have any of you met SpensaPuppy? He's for sale):

From the customer's format (and using their technology) everything was downhill - high quality printed books, CD ROMs, the web, as it was from FrameMaker.

From Word you can do reasonable quality print, but not if you want more than a couple of hundred pages when it becomes an uphill battle.

From a set of non-templated word processing file, or text files a web site can be uphill.

So that's the metaphor - pedal a little harder to climb the hill (or use the gearing provided by XML) and then the coast down to the outputs. The question is how can you goad your authoring team into climbing that hill? It's no use picking a mountain that's too high or they'll go around, or worse, make you push them.

Does anyone know of any prior art on this metaphor? (I'd go on about potential energy and such, but I need to check with my Dad first to make sure I get it right. I don't want to discuss the laws of thermodynamics or bicyclemechanics with irate geeks.)