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   Re: XML [~serialization] and Objects

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  • From: David Brownell <db@Eng.Sun.COM>
  • To: "XML Developers' List" <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Tue, 29 Sep 1998 10:44:55 -0700

Mark Baker wrote:
> David Brownell wrote:
> >         <BEAN CLASS="com.example.foo.SimpleBean">
> >             <PROPERTY NAME="prop1" DCD:i4>49</PROPERTY>
> >             <PROPERTY NAME="prop2" DCD:string>hello world</PROPERTY>
> >             ...
> >             </BEAN>
> <SimpleBean>
>   <prop1 DCD:i4>49</prop1>
>   <prop2 DCD:string>hello world</prop2>
> </SimpleBean>

(A different way to use java.beans.Introspector ... not using
a predefined DTD to ensure validatability ...)

> I think the most important goal of bidirectional Java/XML
> interop is in going *from* XML *to* Java, not the other
> way around.

But then where would the XML content come from?  I don't think
you can solve one problem without the other.  If one assumes Java,
then DCD tagging isn't needed:

		<prop2>hello world</prop1>

since all the type info is in the class for SimpleBean!  Not
particularly validatable unless you generate a DTD from the
class file, which may be an issue.  (I'm assuming there that
most Java names are legal XML names, but there are surely
some exceptions.)

>	  As such, asking document authors
> to follow a Bean-specific DTD isn't such a good idea.  Network
> effects are your friend! 8-)

The question was originally about serialization, so I was
assuming that such documents wouldn't generally be written
by a document author so much as by a tool of some kind.
Also, which particular network effects to leverage?  ;-)

One more comment:  I really see "serialization" approaches
as being in a different direction than document based ones.

That is, if I'm working with an OBI/OTP/OFX DTD for some
sort of E-Commerce system, the external format is defined
already.  There are elements in the DTD that won't match
the model of a property.  If we associate elements with
beans in at least some cases, they'll need to be able to
choose which elements correspond to properties.  Also, they
need to arrange "appropriate" handling for non-property
elements (whatever that may be).

- Dave

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