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   Re: binxml proposal

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  • From: "Joshua E. Smith" <jesmith@kaon.com>
  • To: "Wayne Steele" <xmlmaster@hotmail.com>, xml-dev@xml.org
  • Date: Sat, 01 Apr 2000 09:17:39 -0500

It's been months since I actually read something in my XML inbox, but this
one caught my attention!

Nice work, Wayne.  Very clever using the illegal characters as tokens!
Magic strings are generally 4 ASCII characters, interpreted as a 32 bit
number.  BXML = 0x42584D4C for example.

While sprinkling the string table thru the document sounds appealing, it
isn't reasonable to do anything with an XML document until you get the
whole thing, because you can't tell if it's well formed until you see the
end tag.  So why bother?  Compression will probably be better if you put
the string table up front.

When I brought up the binary XML issue so long, long ago (in the context of
a "flame WAPForum for reinventing everything!" thread), I motivated the
binary XML discussion with two primary concerns:

- Compression
- Parsing Speed

To move forward on this proposal, I'd recommend that you convert some big,
nasty XML doc with namespaces and everything (e.g., an SVG doc) to this
format using a hack (Perl, emacs macros, etc.).  Then report:

Original document size
Gzip'd size of original
Binary document size
Gzip'd size of binary

How might we characterize the impact on parsing speed?

-Joshua Smith

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