As time goes by, the internet itself grows and as it does, developers all over the world want to create their very own mark-up languages. HTML coding can handle this, the ability to mix and match different types of documents has been an issue. This is why XML was created as it allows support of arbitrary document sources as long as the XML file explains to the browser how to render them. When one uses this concept on a webpage, it is known as a compound document.
A compound document in all simplicity is one which has a number of varying formats. You may have a basic HTML page with different languages included on it like SVG, and more. The concept is making use of the object tag which allows you to specify rendering in a separate XML file. Furthermore, these can be by reference or inclusion in which case both are supported by the W3C. They are either CDRs or Compound Documents by Reference or CDIs which are Compound Documents by Inclusion.
It is through the recent innovation known as WICD or better known as Web Integration Compound Document that allows all types of web applications which are rich in content and developed on a number of languages including CSS, HTML, MathML, SVG as well as JavaScipt and much, much more.
Using the same tools which you are already making use of for web development, you can create rich web applications in the WICD format. Furthermore, the W3C is also working with a number of developers in order to create a number of tutorials, testing suites and working examples from which one can learn CDF programming.
The more popular browsers that have never had real issues with website rendering such as Mozilla Firefox and even Safari already have the capabilities of handling the compound document. However there are still many bugs in other browsers which makes this format not as useful for most web developers; such as Internet Explorer supporting them completely.
Currently, WICD is still a work in progress, but it is believed that this will be the next evolutionary step in website creation and as such the World Wide Web Consortium is putting forth plenty of manpower to develop the language with lighting fast speed and high accuracy.
Original Authors: Nick
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 09/02/2009