XML and Javascript: the Familiar Technology of Web 2.0

In order to remix data into a new interface on Web 2.0, you need access to the data as well as access to functions that can be done on that data. Current web standards provide us with the tools for both: XML for the data and Javascript for the functions. Thankfully, these two technologies are […]

In order to remix data into a new interface on Web 2.0, you need access to the data as well as access to functions that can be done on that data. Current web standards provide us with the tools for both: XML for the data and Javascript for the functions. Thankfully, these two technologies are what web developers have been using for years, in various flavors.

Google Maps is the current Remix King (e.g. Gmaps Pedometer), and it is built this way. In the newly released Google Maps API, we see these two things at work. Consider the following code:

var map = new GMap(document.getElementById("map"));
map.centerAndZoom(new GPoint(-122.141944, 37.441944), 4);

This code creates a new map and centers it on Palo Alto, California. This is the function part being done in Javascript. The element in which the map is placed looks like this:

<div id="map" style="width: 500px; height: 300px"></div>

This is the data part being done in XML (XHTML in this case).

For hardcore coders this is a breeze. For most folks, however, (like web developers beginning to dip their toes into the remix waters of Web 2.0) this might be a refreshing sign. We’ve already got the requisite skills to remix Google Maps, or any web service that plays nicely. It’s plain old tag-based markup and Javascript.

Published: July 8th, 2005

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