The other day someone ran across an .itml page (as opposed to an .html page), and they asked us what it was. “Is ITML some new web language that is going to take the place of HTML?” they asked us. No, ITML was not intended to replace HTML. Rather, it was a ‘language’ (in the same sense that HTML is a language) aimed at providing easier integration in the ASP (Application Service Provider) arena.
ITML was devised and propounded during the 2000-2001 timeframe by David Orchard (previously of BEA Systems and now with Ayogo), Gilbert Pilz of Oracle, and David Tarrell (who is either not to be found online or has morphed into a defense lawyer) for what appears to be a now-defunct project known as JamCracker. (Indeed, the ITML site, at ITML.org is now defunct as well – or at least, it’s no longer displaying anything other than a blank page.)
According to Orchard, Pilz and Tarrell, back then, ITML was “a set of specifications of protocols, message formats and best practices in the ASP and ASP aggregation market to provide seamless integration of partners and business processes. It is based on open standards, particularly XML and HTTP. It also uses emerging standards, particularly SOAP and XML Schema.”
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In other words, it was a web language platform intended to facilitate interactions amongst online service applications, most particularly where there was a void in standardized methods and languages for doing so. Explained Jamcracker, “Jamcracker is committed to industry standards and integration. We first use industry available standards to assist with integration. For areas where standards are not readily available, we fill the gaps with ITML.”
As best as we can tell, it never took off – much.
As it turns out, somebody adopted it, as there are sites out there which, at least, have .itml pages. Hence the discovery and question which sparked this article.
An example of such a page is:
While they are rare, they are out there, but they are not cause for concern. They are not typos, they are not malicious, and your browser will handle them just like any other page on the web.
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