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   Re: XML for Java serialization

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  • From: "Bill la Forge" <b.laforge@jxml.com>
  • To: <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 09:42:33 -0500

>> With respect to using XML as an alternative serialization format for Java, the big
>> limitation here is that things really break down whenever you try and externalize Java
>> objects that are not structured in tree form.  Solving this problem is not impossible,
>> but it certainly is difficult.
>I don't think that this problem is particularly hard. Java has references,
>XML has ID references. You can easily model one with the other.
>The only probably is that Java objects serialized as documents are going
>to be <VERY> <VERBOSE>.

Sometimes restrictions can lead to exciting results. Coins has evolved into the idea
of using a DOM to hold an arbitrary set of beans, with a one-to-one relationship 
between DOM elements and application objects.

This is a close cousin to serialization. The document is centric, the application objects
representing one use of that document. Now the document is concise, but the
internal representation is LARGE. 

The large size of that internal representation is one of the reasons for emphasizing 
MDSAX. It is lighter weight and should be used when possible instead of Coins. But its 
strength is also its weakness--it doesn't model the entire document.

(Work on Coins will resume after the production release of MDSAX.)


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