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RE: XML is _post_ OO

On Wed, 23 May 2001, Eric Bohlman wrote:

> XML is actually (as Mr. Snell pointed out a while back) an extremely
> cumbersome and inefficient way of representating data *if* (and I'm
> inclined to say "only if") you have complete control over everything
> that generates and processses that data, and you can reasonably expect
> to maintain such control over the useful life of the data. 


> But in the
> Real World, that's the rare exception, not the rule. 

Consider network protocol design (TCP/IP, the wierd internal things used
by telcos, then higher level protocols like DNS/LDAP/NFS/SMB) as a
counterexample :-)

> There's an
> Outside World, and it runs the way it does, not the way it "should."  
> Even purely automated computer-to-computer interaction shares a
> fundamental feature of human-to-human social interaction: no party can
> expect to get their own way all the time (at least not for long).  


> Methodologies for the design of self-contained systems, OTOH, operate
> on the assumption that the designer *is* getting his own way.

A self contained system is always delimited by boundaries,
though. Interfaces. Be they to operating systems, standard libraries, or
whatever. Software engineers have always had to deal with this, Internet
programming is not specially different in any way; the issue is that up
until recently, designing an interface was arelatively rare occurance
that was often handled by a team of specialist interface
designers. Nowadays, everyone's doing it, and risking making a hash of it
becuase there is little literature on the topic... I am considering
writing a book, much in the style of a software design text, about how to
design interfaces :-)


                               Alaric B. Snell
 http://www.alaric-snell.com/  http://RFC.net/  http://www.warhead.org.uk/
   Any sufficiently advanced technology can be emulated in software