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   Re: Array content model

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  • From: "Nik O" <nikozu@mailcity.com>
  • To: xml-dev@xml.org
  • Date: Wed, 05 Apr 2000 13:41:03 -0600

On Wed, 5 Apr 2000 10:06:29    John.OSullivan wrote:
>However, my colleagues are unmoved by the ease of implementation
>argument, and prefer the gain in brevity from omiting the items tags.

IMHO, your colleagues are missing the point.  Major benefits of XML include both clarity in both data modeling and self-documentation.  The use of the <items> element type greatly eases implementation at a very, very small cost in characters.  It also provides some basic documentation ("there may be multiple items") within the XML document instances instead of requiring a look at the DTD/Schema for this info.

I have always used your approach for such problems, in part because i agree with the W3C's stated design goals for XML, which include:
  "4. It shall be easy to write programs which process XML documents." and
 "10.Terseness in XML markup is of minimal importance."
Of course, as a prog writing XML applications i also have a vested interest in ease of implementation!

If they're really worried about a few bytes, why are your element type names so meaningful?  They could be cryptic and abbreviated instead: <I> for <Item>, <PO> for <PurchaseOrder>, etc.  Or why not use a nice compact binary format instead of XML?  ;-)

Use of glib/zlib compression is widespread; storage and comm costs are plumenting.  Thus, it's hard for me to see a great advantage in shaving, at best, a dozen bytes from each of your XML messages, when many more than that are spent elsewhere in the same design.

 Nik O

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