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Re: [xml-dev] Here's a good question

Good answer.

"Champion, Mike" wrote:
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Tom Bradford [mailto:bradford@dbxmlgroup.com]
> > Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2001 2:19 PM
> > To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
> > Subject: [xml-dev] Here's a good question
> >
> >
> > Why does the DOM suck so badly?  I'll leave the many reasons for the
> > question to your imagination and cumulative experience.
> Uhh, if I didn't know of Tom's impeccable reputation as a man of refined
> manners and subtle eloquence, I might be offended.  But I guess I'll plead
> ignorance and ask for a clarification:  explain what you mean by "suck".
> If it "sucks" because it doesn't exploit all the power of Java
> classes/collections/Strings/Lists/etc." ... well, duh, it's
> language-neutral!
> If it "sucks" because it's full of kludgy compromises between browsers and
> editors, HTML and XML, trees and lists, clients and servers, and between the
> various competitors who have drafted it ... well, duh! It was written by a
> committee reprsenting all these incompatible viewpoints ... what do you
> expect?
> If it "sucks" because it exposes XML 1.0's dirty linen (external parsed
> entities, CDATA sections, the bizarre differences in whitespace processing
> in validating and non-validating parsers, the overwhelming number of ways
> namespaces find to confuse people ... you know my litany) ... I guess the
> DOM sucks because life sucks :~)
> If it "sucks" because things that are obvious in 2001 weren't obvious in
> 1997-1998, well duh! If it continues to suck because the W3C is very
> reluctant to introduce backward incompatibility, that's a good point to
> debate.
> If it "sucks" because of all the things it doesn't have ... well, the
> feeling at the time was that a DOM Recommendation that didn't come out in
> time to be supported by IE5 and  (the non-exisitent, but we didn't know that
> at the time) Navigator 5 would be DOA in the Real World.  There seemed to be
> a narrow window of opportunity to get a Dynamic HTML API out in time to be
> supported by the browsers, and an XML API in time to be supported by all the
> XML tools that were being planned. For better or worse, the DOM hit that
> window.
> The DOM (like XML) is not a triumph of elegance; it's a triumph of "if we do
> not hang together, we shall hang separately."  At least the Browser Wars
> were not followed by API Wars. Better a common API that we all love to hate
> than a bazillion contending APIs that carve the Web up into contending
> enclaves of True Believers.
> > Is it all Mike Champion's fault? :)
> Probably.
> All I can say is that the experience has been immensely humbling.  If anyone
> has ideas for a better API that meets DOM's fundamental constraints, that
> would be a very interesting discussion to have here.
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Tom Bradford  The dbXML Group, L.L.C.  http://www.dbxmlgroup.com/
Desktop, Laptop, Settop, Palmtop.  Can your XML database do that?