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Language politics and DOM bindings

> > Let me first ask this: The Python XML SIG has put together a
> > Python/DOM binding.  What would be the process for us to sublit it to
> > the DOM WG in order to give it standing according to the W3C,
> > and preferably listing
> > alongside the Java and ECMAScript bindings?
> If someone in the Python SIG is a W3C member, they can request membership in
> the DOM Working Group to do just that.  If not, ask for "invited expert"
> status to contribute.

Hmm "asking" for "invited expert" status seems rather odd.  Isn't this the
sort of area where the W3C should be actively soliciting contributions in
order to spread the utility of their specs?

> I can't say authoritatively, but I believe that the
> DOM WG members would see an official Python binding as a "good thing" ... as
> long as someone was willing to do the work required.  I think the mechanism
> defined by the W3C Process to do this kind of thing is to make a
> "Submission".  See

Thanks for the ref, but as you suggest, it seems to allow only submissions
by W3C members.  I don't know if the XML SIG has anyone working for such
an organization.

> > Perl, C, C++, VBScript, PHP3, Python,... are also "definitely part of
> > the Web infrastructure".  Do you dispute that?  Does the W3C?
> I completely agree that all these languages are part of the Web
> infrastructure and that the DOM would be "better" if it had official
> bindings for all of them.
> (The original post in this thread mentioned COBOL and Ada ... them too?? How
> about FORTRAN? PL/I? where does one draw the line?)

The same way the OMG (and to my knowledge other orgs) draw the line: based
on whether the effort is made to provide the language bindings.  For
instance the ODMG has a Smalltalk binding, and I'm sure that it was not
because of industry pervasiveness.  Someone was willing to do the work.

The Python XML SIG has already done the work.  The question is of

> The DOM WG actually considered committing itself to do a C++ binding, and to
> the best of my recollection the memory management issue was the largest nail
> in that idea's coffin.  I'm not completely sure, and don't care to
> second-guess exactly why that decision was made ... in retrospect, you may
> well be right that memory management shouldn't have been a consideration.

I'm willing to bet it was DOM WG laziness.  In C++, memory management is a
matter of adhering to Bjarne Stroustroup's simple and effective rule that
"resource aqcuisition is initialization".

I've had less trouble handling memory management in C++ than I have trying
to wrangle with dynamic object behavior patterns in Java.  I'll need to
hear a reasoned technical argument as to why C++ is such a poor
implementation candidate for the DOM.

> The definite fact of the matter is that nobody active in the W3C at that
> time (1997) expressed a strong desire for any of these bindings that was
> backed up by an offer to help out with the work required to define the
> language specific bindings, write the scripts to convert the IDL definition
> of the DOM to the binding, implement and test the binding before the
> Recommendation came out, write the documentation, maintain the FAQs, respond
> to the inevitable flames on public mailing lists, etc.  As I recall, I was
> in favor (in the abstract) of supporting C++ as well as Java ... but
> couldn't commit to doing all that work.

Yes, but this is not what you said at first.  You said something vague
about "memory management issues", which I don't think is supportable.  I
do, however, understand if no one was availableto ddo the work.

> So, it's not a matter of the "W3C" agreeing or disagreeing with any of this,
> it's mainly a matter of whether any members commit the resources to help
> make it happen.  As near as I can tell, that's how the W3C "draws the line"
> between what gets done and what doesn't.

I disagree.  I would likely volunteer to write a Python binding (Fred
Drake, Paul Prescod and I, among others have already done a good deal of
the work), but we're not W3C members.

Uche Ogbuji                               Principal Consultant
uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com               +1 303 583 9900 x 101
Fourthought, Inc.                         http://Fourthought.com
4735 East Walnut St, Ste. C, Boulder, CO 80301-2537, USA
Software-engineering, knowledge-management, XML, CORBA, Linux, Python