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   IDL for SAX2

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  • From: uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com
  • To: Lars Marius Garshol <larsga@ifi.uio.no>, xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Sat, 27 Mar 1999 17:35:29 -0700

> * uche ogbuji
> |
> | Furthermore, I've been thinking of proposing that the SAX2
> | interfaces be specified in IDL rather than Java (or at least
> | publishing an IDL translatiuon when the interfaces are stabilized),
> | and your proposal wouldn't wash in IDL.
> Many things in SAX won't wash in IDL, such as the use of the
> Java-specific InputStream, Reader and Locale objects. 

Huh?  Sounds like orthogonal matters to me.

module spam {
	interface InputStream;

	interface eggs{
		string foobar(in InputStream input);

Is perfectly legal IDL.  IDL does not concern itself with the implementation 
of any object: strictly interface, as its name promises.  You can use 
InputStream, Reader, etc. etc. to your heart's content.  In fact, you can even 
improve on the current Java approach by actually _defining_ the interface for 
those classes, saving non-Java users a spurious trip through the Javadoc.

> Also, IDL has a problem in that it's sort of a least common
> denominator, and thus leaves out many useful language-specific things.

Examples, please.  I don't think your above example of Java-specific objects 
really minimizes the usefulness of IDL.

> So you'd probably want to do a manual translation anyway.

> If there ever is a published SAX spec I think it should use IDL to be
> politically correct and point out potential language-mapping problems.
> However, the actual utility of IDL I think is low in this particular
> case.

It's not a matter of "politically correct".  IDL is an excellent _engineering_ 
tool whenever you need to define interface.  I have used it time and time in 
my career, and I find that the ability to generate stubs in any native 
language directly from the IDL, thus ensuring adherence to the interface, 
saves much development time.

Uche Ogbuji
FourThought LLC, IT Consultants
uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com	(970)481-0805
Software engineering, project management, Intranets and Extranets
http://FourThought.com		http://OpenTechnology.org

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