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Re: Picking the Tools -- Marrying processing models to data models

On Wed, 23 May 2001, W. E. Perry wrote:

> commensurately the textual nature of XML which allows for an
> abstraction of the instance sufficient to bridge the differences in
> detailed interpretation of the data between the two parties. 'Order',
> or 'price' or even 'transaction' are abstractions, but if I can
> identify that your data is an 'order'--albeit of your form, which is
> alien to me--I may be able to instantiate as an 'order' of the form I
> can process.

What's that got to do with the textual encoding? Image processing programs
will typically recognise a wide range of image file formats beyond their
chosen native one, and some even provide tools for the technically
advanced to pull data from bizarre image formats (I've seen a "raw" import
dialog that asks how many byte of header to skip, what the pixel format
is, and how many pixels to read in what order). So if you see an image in
a format other than the agreed one, it can try to figure it out.

Are you stating that the textuality and human-readable names on everything
make it somewhat easier for a human to figure out the format by examining
examples, incrementally designing an experimental schema until all
available samples match that schema flawlessly, then assuming that's the
format of the data being found? Hmmm. I've reverse engineered CSV files
and binary formats in much the same way. XML makes it a bit easier in most
cases, although I'm already starting to see incomprehensible XML (complex
XPath, for example), so it's a quantitative improvement rather than a
massive qualitiative leap, and is it worth all that overhead? :-)

BTW, Some image file formats are textual:


...not really relevant to the thread, just a historical nugget.

> Walter Perry


                               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