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   Re: Is there anyone working on a binary version of XML?

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  • From: "Arnold, Curt" <Curt.Arnold@hyprotech.com>
  • To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Thu, 25 Mar 1999 17:04:45 -0700

I guess the key thing is what you are trying to communicate.  

If you are primarily dealing with textual information, then the only
transform that would seem to make sense is compression or encryption
(depending if you were trying to reduce required bandwidth/diskspace at the
expense of processing or trying to hide information).  The event based
parsers (such as expat) can chew through large files at blinding speed.  The
relative slowness of the DOM based parsers is primarily due to the expense
of string allocation and that would not be eliminated if you simple changed
the media.  Neither of those requires anything new from the XML world.

If you were trying to communicate something that a textual representation
cannot be comprehendable (say a JPEG image), then trying to use XML at all
is just a poor decision.

The one domain that a binary XML seems useful is when the bulk of the
content is numeric (especially floating point).  In those cases, you would
like to be able (in some circumstances) to transmit floating point numbers
without the loss of precision that comes with a conversion to and from text.

For this to work, you would need a persistance framework that took typed
information and depending on the archive object that you passed would create
either a textual XML file or a binary analogue.

My approach to storage was to expand the Microsoft Property Storage
mechanism by generating CRC's for the tag and attribute names to generate
the Property Identifer (32-bit int) and the representing the content in the
appropriate variant (numerics as IEEE format, text in Unicode).

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