I have given up, at least for now, on understanding what Microsoft wants Oslo (and more specifically the “M” part) to be. I used to pull my hair reading inconsistent articles and interviews about what M tries to be (graphical programming! DSL! IT models! generic parser! application components! workflow! SOA framework! generic data layer! SQL/T-SQL for dummies! JSON replacement! all of the above!). Douglas Purdy makes a valiant 4-part effort (1, 2, 3, 4) but it’s still not crisp enough for my small brain. Even David Chapell, explainer extraordinaire, seems to throw up his hands (“a modeling platform that can be applied in lots of different ways”, which BTW is the most exact, if vague, description I’ve heard).
The question at the back of my mind before I went was "Does M really have the potential in the long term to be an interesting and useful alternative to XML?". My tentative answer is yes.
I can't help wondering whether something that can replace both RDF and XML (and basically any kind of modeling language, too) might be just a little bit too generic.