the definition of the XML language, you can make your own interface to it. There are plans to incorporate it in the Blaise system; that is one thing. But if someone else says, “I want to incorporate it in CASES,” or whatever, then they can [adapt it as well]. This was really the meaning of the project, to present something to the community and they can work from there, to see if they can do something with it. [Inaudible reply from participant.]

MARKOSIAN: Have you considered using a proper development platform and open-sourcing it? Because it sounds like there’s a large enough community around the world that would want to contribute.

BETHLEHEM: Yes, we have had some contacts, but not to a level that we’ve started a cooperation. But we are open for that. Because, well, one thing about XML is that everyone says it allows you to make new standards. And, that’s what everybody does—makes their own new standard. [laughter] And that’s not good, I think. On the other hand, if you have different XML standards it would probably not be too difficult to get from one XML to the other definition.

MARKOSIAN: I wasn’t referring specifically to the XML standard but rather just to encourage people to … by having an open-source collaborative development you can encourage a lot of development in the end product.

BETHLEHEM: Well, we learned about this in the course of this project. And we are open to that; it’s not a problem at all. But there’s no concrete thing to mention at this moment.

PARTICIPANT: How well does it work? And how do you decide that it’s working well?

BETHLEHEM: Well, I don’t decide it, you decide it. [laughter] I think if you have very, very, very, very large questionnaires then it might turn out to be a little bit slow now and then, to generate the graph and this kind of thing. But that’s not something you’re doing every five minutes. So I don’t think that’s a real problem. Also, I think that the type of files that are generated—for example, if you have a 40,000-item questionnaire in Blaise and you generate the XML, it might be rather long, a big file. But it works; it works.

PARTICIPANT: In terms of accuracy, is it possible for me to write a program to see that it’s parsed correctly, you know what I mean? Will it go through a Blaise program accurately, do a representation, 100 percent of the time? Or get 95 percent of it right? Or, what’s your feeling?

BETHLEHEM: If you generate it from Blaise, the XML file—which you can do, if you know Blaise—then it will be an exact copy of the Blaise program. One remark to be made is that not every object in Blaise is represented in the XML; if you have very special things like coding questions or calls to an external file, that is more handled like a



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