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XML news and resources for Macintosh users

about XMacL


XMacL (Eks'-Mac-El') offered XML news and resource links for Mac users for several years (2000-2003) when XML tools for Mac OS were comparatively few and hard to find. While the promise of XML (eXtensible Markup Language) as a tool for information exchange among computing platforms and software applications was increasingly being realized, XML support in Macintosh software was limited in contrast to that for some other operating systems.

This situation began changing for the better with the advent of Mac OS X. It has now improved to a point where there is little need for a resource such as this. XMacL has not been actively updated since 2003, but it will remain online for the foreseeable future as a kind of snapshot of where things stood in this area during those transitional years--perhaps of some historical interest even as these pages' news and resource links become outdated.

When XMacL was founded, what little online information there was about using XML on Macs was scattered across sites focused more generally on either the Macintosh or XML, or more narrowly on an individual vendor's applications. This site featured a weblog noting new or newly updated resources in these areas, and it offered an efficient means of finding information about more established resources. XMacL sifted the web for tools and information located at the intersection of XML and the Mac OS, reported on XML-friendly Mac software, and gathered news and links from other Mac, XML, and vendor sites.

At first all formatting for XMacL was implemented with external Cascading Style Sheets, which supported a more liquid design; but even with cross-browser workarounds, each early-2000s browser rendered CSS with a different level of standards compliance. The old CSS-formatted XMacL looked good on Macs with IE5, nasty but legible in NN4, a bit mangled in IE4.5, and ugly in CSS-oblivious browsers. Relegating all formatting to CSS files was a nice exercise; but because so many Mac users still used NN4.7X as their default browser, I devolved the site with <font> and <br> tags, non-breaking spaces, and tables (used in ways which comply with the validating letter, if not the motivating spirit, of W3C standards). Separating structural markup and visual formatting is a fine and logical idea in the long run, but real-world usability mattered right then, too....