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Re: "Binary XML" proposals
- From: David Brownell <email@example.com>
- To: Miles Sabin <MSabin@interx.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001 13:49:08 -0700
> > Binary formats are bad because they tend towards being
> > proprietary, and that's the last thing that should happen to
> > the world's next "intellectual commons".
> True in the document world, perhaps. But not so obviously true
> in the protocol world. For example, DNS question and answer
> payloads are an example of an open, structured, binary format.
I'm fully aware. But you also ought to consider exactly how
open and extensible DNS is -- by seeing whether you can
get to two hands when you count implementations (BIND,
and hardly any other servers), and extensions (rare).
Basically, every binary RPC protocol I've ever seen has been
converted, sooner or later, into a conduit for proprietary
platforms. Fragmenting a previously-unified (XML=text)
world by creating a binary variant seems a fine start, for any
organizations wanting to head that direction. Large vendors
can afford the duplicate investments, when they can forsee
it opens the door to more vendor lock-in. The rest of the world
may well prefer to do smarter things with their time/money
than helping raise more barriers to market entry.
There's also the "out of sight, out of mind" issue. Once things
get binary, the number of people who can detect mistakes
(much less shenanigans!) declines by orders of magnitude.
That means that interop becomes more fragile; which also
pushes things towards proprietary behaviors/bugsets.