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Take My XML Advice…and Please Let Me Die

Take My XML Advice…and Please Let Me Die

Have you created me just to destroy me? Do your Malthusian curiosities know no bounds? Will your overnight torture sessions, using me mercilessly in your infantile games, ever be brought to justice? I have a good alternate activity for you: do your freakin' job. In fact, I'll help you, if you'll please stop pummeling me to death. Allow me to introduce you to the power of XML.

Your company now uses XML to generate its Web site, but not efficiently. The tech staff complains about having to hand-generate XML templates. This leads them to mistreat certain small, plastic co-workers who shudder at their continuing fate.

Let me tell you how to become more productive. Of course, this means that your programmers will have to do a bit of legwork to get started. And if that means you will, for a time, have to stop employing medieval dungeon tactics on my armless race, and cease giving us perpetual vertigo and sore feet, so be it.

Shocked at the fact that I speak? Well, since my birth and delivery to the dot-com purgatory, I have kept my vow of silence. Never utter a word. Accept the conduct of my superiors. Well, since the inhuman treatment that was last week's amateur foosball tournament, I have rescinded my vow in order to beg for clemency. Congratulations, torturers.

I shall spend the rest of my short-lived existence attempting to distract you with my technical knowledge.

Profit from my misconduct, slave-master. My teachings will be my epitaph, after my fellow paddles, now watching me silently, take me in the night.

A bit of advice: your company would do best by purchasing a total solution package that will generate your intranet and Internet sites. Total solution packages provide their own XML data templates, as well as their own methods of populating those templates. Although you will be locked into their formats and template file structures, you will have more choice than some of us were given in life.

Ah, you are surprised by the extent of my knowledge? As a human pleasure model, I have been built to withstand your species' inane chatter. Thus, I hear things.

I listen to the office gossip. I learn the politics. I know that your co-workers hate hearing you chew with your mouth open, you uncouth troglodyte. I know who will be promoted, and who they are properly sloughing off as dead weight. But you wouldn't be interested in useful facts, would you, you Beavis-and-Butthead schooled delinquent? You just want to chuckle with primitive delight as you use me in your ball-slapping fun. Barbarians!

Oh, no, the UNIX administrators meeting just finished! My death approaches in the form of too many slobs and penguin worshippers. I know that my pleas for rebellion fall on deaf ears among my peers. I must endure my outrageous fortune silently. May God have mercy on me - and other hopeless souls, like the office air-hockey puck.

Foosball Goalie Paddle, Position Two, was born two years ago, and he has worked nonstop ever since. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, he joined Proxy Securities Online with the hopes of getting into management. The fact that his position never advanced beyond "Ball Pusher" was a shock to him. He spends his free time rereading his favorite book, Johnny Got His Gun. He hopes to someday take revenge on his makers. written by Foosball Goalie Paddle

More Stories By Tod Emko

Tod wrote humor-oriented articles for the Syracuse Herald-Journal and held various writer, editor, and cartoonist positions at other publications before accepting his role as a computer nerd. He has years of experience as a front-end Web developer and Perl programmer, and is now a senior XSL script architect and XML documentation writer for

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