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Over the last 10 years we have seen a lot of attempts to use XML based webdesign solutions, where people easily can modify their entire webdesign just by updating a few XML files. The point of these systems was to enable users with no knowledge of coding, HTML or design to easily change the look of their websites within certain limits. Most of these functions have now been moved to various CMS systems instead. However most of these systems turned out to be too complicated for most of the users or the possibilities was to limited to be of much use.
Instead most of the webdesign features have now been moved to stylesheets which can easily be updated with little HTML knowledge. With regards simple designs this works perfectly, although many people worry that skills for more technical development will become difficult to find. After all the look and design of a website is only one factor and increasingly there are much more technical aspects. Installing and operating e-commerce and specialized servers like these proxies require in depth programming skills too.
According to Michael from Webdesign won’t be seeing any new major XML based webdesign CMS systems in their future. However XML is still widely used in various Flash applications and will most likely still used for this in the next few years. For some reason flash never moved on to use stylesheets as most HTML based webdesigns did but instead kept the XML standard for those wishing to change the webdesign of their flash sites in an easy and simple way.
With all the XML libraries for flash and seeing how Flash slowly being outfaced we can expect XML to still be a major factor with Flash for several more years to come. Social media sites like Instagram have pushed the barriers of image processing and display way beyond static HTML could handle.
With the introduction of HTML5 and flash becoming less and less popular we can expect to see fewer XML files in modern webdesign but that doesn’t mean the XML standard is dead, it is still widely used for many other applications such as config files, site maps and other places where structure is an important issue, but for pure webdesign it will be forgotten in the near future.