Welcome to the Resources Site of the XPL eGroups

This site was originally created by Michael Lauzon, the founder of the XPL Group. In the late 1990's and early 2000's the WWW was an exciting place for developers and other techies. Michael Lauzon was right there in the mix with XPL, an eXtensible Programming Language that was an open source initiative. Open source software was (and still is) developed by and for the user community. Such open source software offers tremendous opportunities for developers to share and learn through collaboration.

Lots has happened, technologically on the WWW since this website first appeared. And I believe Michael Lauzon has stayed right on the cutting edge. I happen to be part of a team of Salesforce consultants. The progressive software company I work for has experienced BSAs, paired with Salesforce configuration specialists and developers, that helps clients make sure that their Salesforce configuration fits their business process – not the other way around. Often times the out-of-the-box Salesforce features don’t meet a businesss needs. We step in to develop customized solutions based on an organization's specialized needs. At the moment Salesforce is the cloud leader and #1 CRM solution. Their innovative platform of business applications helps businesess stay on the cutting edge of cloud, mobile, social, and data science technologies. This is an exciting time. But I tell my co-workers stick around and see where we are in two, five, or even ten years from now.

My goal when I first bought this domain was to restore some of the original content via archived pages. As I was gathering the content from various sources I started to wonder about the domain's name. I happened upon this email thread from 2000 between Michael Lauzon and several other people. Here is the most important fragment:

-----Original Message -----

From: "Michael Lauzon" To: Sent: Thursday, July 06, 2000 9:02 AM
Subject: [XPL] XPL Mascot....

Richard sent me an email with ideas for a domain name, when we eventually grow to big for the VBXML site.  He also mentioned a mascot.  And to this, I think is a good idea. Because...Linux, has a penguin; Windows has a window; Apple, has an apple; so we should have a platypus (and here is what RAH wrote):

xplatypus - it makes a great site mascot - the platypus - plus it denotes XPL's quality of using heterogenous data and supporting various technologies! :-) The Linux world named their mascot Tux (I think), so we will name our mascot: Xplatypus. Michael


Now a step back to 2000.

Our task is to create an eXtensible Programming Language framework, in which XML documents will be source code, processed by XSLT and by our own tree operations.

Our vision is of a complete programming environment in which exchange and transformation of XML documents is the whole deal.

  • XML will define control and data flow.
  • XML will be the message-passing format.
  • XML will be the universal data container, from temporary data structures to portable file and database architectures.

XPL programs will be

  • machine independent
  • operating-system independent
  • initially dependent on the simplest facilities common to the major scripting languages.

Users will access XPL through one scripting language or another, depending on their need for client-side, server-side or peer-to-peer operation - and later, through efficient platform-specific runtime systems.

The user interface to XPL will be anything you like - as long as it can generate an XML document, and link to it via URL, or pass it to standard input.

XPL will be designed by three methods - let the best one win!

  • Top-down. We take as context the whole range of XML developments. We ask what the Web requires, as XML pervades it. We take our design constraints from the World Wide Web Consortium standards. And so we work out what we must implement.
  • Bottom-up. We begin with the fundamental specifications for an operational XML model - especially the HyTime specification of "groves", and the new XInfoset specification. We implement a basic processing system for property sets, and work up from there.
  • Middle way. We implement a useful XML dialect - the proposed XPLScript language. With experience, we extend the foundations downward, and the capabilties upward.

You are in on the ground floor, working with us. Discussions have only recently begun on many far-reaching design issues.

We need:

  • Users of HTML extensions and XML facilities - including PHP, ASP, XSLT and SAX.
  • Participants and lurkers in the XML development community.
  • Programmers - in any language extant.
  • Writers - both of technical documentation and overall commentary.
  • Newbies to frequently ask the FAQs.
  • Mailing-list visitors to keep the group bubbling.

This - along with the other groups under the VBXML banner - is The Edge. Nothing is certain, everything is up for decision. At XPL, you can explore the latest Web developments, or make original contributions to a radically new programming movement.

About Topxml

Topxml is a collection of top XML resources: TopXML, Snippet Central and TrainIT. There is only one thing we do well and that is XML.   Thank you for using Topxml. Please read on to find out more.

Topxml is a vertical technology portal where our visitors can achieve personal growth, where members can earn recognition for contributions to the community and where rapid learning can take place.

When did it all start?

Originally, in February 1999 Mark Wilson started the VBXML email discussion list at ONELIST (who then merged with eGroups.com and the new eGroups/ONELIST merger was bought by Yahoo and became YahooGroups). The number of questions on the Microsoft NNTP newsgroups was a good indication that a developer resource was needed.  At the same time, Mark registered the TopXML URL.

Over time TopXML spawned many more resources. For example: TrainIT as a central place to purchase training and XML resources; and the Topxml Search engine for hand-picked quality searches; and Snippet Central which is an attempt to gather the best and most useful information from around the XML world.

Over time, with the energy of thousands of members, TopXML has organized itself into a wonderful resource for developers around the world. Generally speaking, members make use of free website space and then promote their books or their consulting using the Topxml resources.

Where is Topxml going?

Growth, recognition and learning - these are our mantras. We are striving to build a dynamic resource where visitors and members can find knowledge and resources to grow and learn more quickly.

Our recent achievements include:

We are fortunate enough to host some of the best XML and XSL email discussions on the Net.

  • Footerboard components (for peer review)
  • Snippet Central (code and frequently asked lists)
  • TrainIT Marketplace/Store
  • Topxml Developer Search Engine
  • Daily Technology News Updates
  • Technology Website Directory
  • Reciprocal relationships with major conferences and with major websites
  • Well over 150 articles
  • Almost 100 downloads

Our upcoming projects will significantly enhance our learning value for our visitors and members. These projects include:

  • Online coding demonstration videos
  • An offline searchable CD version of all the resources on the website (downloads, articles etc.)
  • Custom products to fill niches in your development cycle

Every few months, as we complete the projects we will be updating this list. Keep coming back to stay up to date. And of course, if you have a suggestion then feel free to email Topxml Admin.

Why Topxml?

Donating free content and peer review of that content - these are the basic foundations of the Internet.  It's how it all got started and it's why it continues to grow. Throughout all of this is the fundamental quality assurance of having the freedom of speech to comment on someone else's work. It's central to ensuring a healthy, strong and growing community!

Think Apache, Linux, Slashdot and SourceForge - these are the places where legends are being made.  These are places where leaders are contributing their knowledge to the world and where visitors are free to use their work and review it.

Topxml strives to provide the same environment for growth, recognition and learning by providing a place for leaders to donate their project source code or use the excellent Snippet Central for code snippets and of course provide plenty of articles for continued learning.  And to ensure constant peer review and healthy debate, we are using Footerboards.

What is Topxml all about?

TopXML is already the best Windows XML developer resource on the internet, and each month it extends it's lead further. This is because it is a community website.  It follows the concepts and ideals of enabling a community to take ownership of it's own direction and to enable the community to solve problems for each other.  Topxml has over 100 free source code downloads and 15,000 pages of information on XML - almost all of which has been provided by the members who frequent this website.

Gestalt is a word used frequently when describing why so many people co-operate to help each other. Why indeed would competing authors co-operate together?  Gestalt can be defined as "the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts".  With well over 6,000 email members (as of June 2001) and 140 000 unique visitors to Topxml each month (growing at approximately 20% per month, depending on the month), Topxml is one of the top XML developers resources on the Net.

FYI: The community-based growth concepts referred to above are well laid out in books such as Net.Gain (John Hagel III and Arthur G. Armstrong)

Branding and Promotional Opportunities

Like all websites, Topxml needs content.  If you have a consultancy or software development website, Topxml is probably the ideal target market for you. Consider writing content for our readers, and Topxml will brand the content in order to drive visitors to your website and your products.

If you would like to send some of this volume to your website, consider writing an article (with source code) which is related to XML (for example training articles, B2B/eCommerce, using a new parser or whatever) for VBXML. The article will be branded in order to send visitors to your website to learn more about your products. Email Topxml Admin if you would like to discuss this further.