KEEPING TABS ONLINE

DOING BUSINESS ON THE NET IS HARD BECAUSE THE UNDERLYING SOFTWARE IS SO DUMB. XML WILL FIX THAT

The Web is broken, but don't worry--Marty Tenenbaum knows how to fix it. Tenenbaum is chairman of CommerceNet, a nonprofit organization based in Palo Alto, Calif., and devoted, unsurprisingly, to promoting commerce on the Net. And his silver bullet, an obscure design language called XML, is about to transform cyberspace.

Really. "This is the most important thing that will happen to the Web next year," says Bob Glushko, Tenenbaum's point man on XML and director of CommerceNet's for-profit spinoff, CNGroup. "XML," says Eckart Walther, product manager for browser leader Netscape, which, along with archrival Microsoft, has already climbed aboard the XML...

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