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From: "Bill Birch" <bbirch@ctp.com>
To: <lwn@lwn.net>
Subject: LinuXML Project Kickoff
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 22:00:38 +1100


Just to let you know that I've started a new project devoted improving the
command-line experience on Linux. I'm looking for feedback and helpers.


This project is devoted to changing the UNIX de facto standard for
inter-process communication and storage from line-based ASCII records to
XML. Linux is the reference platform.

In essence the idea is simple. Instead of a program like "ls" outputting its
data in ASCII records, it outputs the directory listing in XML. This allows
all the downstream programs, like "sort" and "xterm" to actually understand
what the data is and do more useful things with it.

In particular xterm can be programmed that when you click on a directory
such as "/home", it tells the shell to "cd /home".

Likewise "sort" can be re-programmed to sort on the size directly since the
XML output of "ls" explicitly identifies the size. i.e.

# ls -l -xml / | sort -size