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   Re: [xml-dev] terra incognita

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 From: "Derek Denny-Brown" <derekdb@microsoft.com>
>> From: Rick Jelliffe [mailto:ricko@allette.com.au]
>> XML is not a data serialization language.  It is a markup
>> language, where text (i.e. words and sentences) can be annotated.

> I have heard this type of statement (that XML is primarily about
> annotating text) repeated many times.  XML _did_ have data exchange as
> one of it's priorities, back when 1.0 was released.  Take for example,
> the below quote from the press statement about the release of XML 1.0
> (http://www.w3.org/Press/XML-PR):

> "XML is primarily intended to meet the requirements of large-scale Web
> content providers for industry-specific markup, vendor-neutral data
> exchange, media-independent publishing, one-on-one marketing, workflow
> management in collaborative authoring environments, and the processing
> of Web documents by intelligent clients."

Are you saying that XML is defined by what press releases say about it?

In any case, "data exchange" does not imply "data serialiazation": there was
not a serious attempt when XML was created to figure out the useful
requirements for serializing any arbitrary data. Instead, the idea was to
trim SGML of the bits that were not needed for sending resolved documents
over the WWW. 

> To select one view and define that as the
> correct view, just hurts XML in the long run.

No. To not understand and recognize the focus of attention of the design
of XML results in misleading people that XML can do things it cannot do
well. Such as sending non-text data (such as control characters).

I am sure this is upsetting for DBMS vendors who are trying so hard
to make XML into something they can get a profit from.  But just because
your market is so big is no reason to come and foul up our backyard by 
making XML allow non-text characters. 

Rick Jelliffe


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