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   Re: [xml-dev] Why would MS want to make XML break on UNIX,

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> >Sure, lets make XML unsuitable for use in UNIX pipes by allowing ^D.
> >And for Perl and Python text-processing programs that use standard in and
> >expect EOF (^D or ^Z).
> I was wondering how long it would take for someone to throw in a good dose of
> anti-Microsoft paranoia, I'm surprised it lasted this long. :)
> Personally, I've always felt that if one wants to debate a point and be taken
> seriously it makes sense to avoid ad hominem attacks and unwarranted finger
> pointing 

Oh dear.  Most of the time, people useing the term "ad hominem" these days 
demonstrate by their very usage an unfortunate carelessness with the term

Ricko's arguments was not an "ad hominem attack".  Period.  It was clearly 
made in ill-temper, but he was reacting to a very specious formula by Michael 
Rys.  This formula seems to be just as likely cause by a disregard of UNIX and 
its text conventions than as not.

> especially if these points can be easily refuted.

You're calling your following questions "refutations"?  Rather rich, I'd think.

> Here are a few
> questions I'd like to ask you;
> 1.) Exactly how common is piping XML (not ASCII) used in UNIX applications? I
> have never seen a UNIX app that does this.

Perhaps it would be charitable of me not to draw conclusions on your 
experience with UNIX from this comment.

For what I suppose could be called "UNIX power users", this is a *very* common 
operation.  I probably use pipes to process XML files at least once a day.  
And this is despite the fact that I co-develop an integrated suite of XML 
tools.  There is no beating the power of UNIX pipes for text processing.  And 
as Rick said, XML is text.

> 2.) Why would MSFT want to break XML usage in .NET languages like Perl and
> Python?

The excellent work of Mark Hammond and co. on Python.NET, is hardly cause to 
call Python a ".NET language" (nor Perl), not even from MFST's POV.

Microsoft has a great deal more to gain by marginalizing the use of XML on 
UNIX than it does by attending to every language that happens to have a .NET 
interface.  Python and Perl, after all, have CORBA interfaces, and let's not 
forget that Jython offsets any of the Redmond axis that comes along with 

I'm not saying that MSFT is consciosly trying to sink Python and Perl (as if a 
company of that size could ever have a uniform motivation), but the 
implication behind your question is shaky.

> 3.) Since when did every opinion put forward by an employee of a corporation
> on a public discussion forum become CAST IN STONE company policy?

Where did Rick say so?

> 4.) Micheal is not the only one who was in favor of XML 1.1, so what are your
> conspiracy theories regarding the others that mentioned support for the idea
> on XML-dev or Reuter's Health or  the W3C for that matter? Launching into a
> paranoid anti-MSFT tirade does little to improve perception of the validity of
> your dissent but does make one wonder whether your reason for dissension is
> even rational or based on the Anything But MSFT meme that flows all across the
> net.

Rick has given very good technical reasons for disliking XML 1.1.  There is no 
reason why he cannot cite the likely motives of the sponsors of some of the 
more egregious parts of the effort as further reason to shun it.

> >That really is pathetic. I sat next to the excellent J. Paoli at lunch at a
> >conference last week, to thank him for the terrific MS help with some MSXML 4
> >issues, and he stressed that MS was keen on following standards for XML:
> >they were competing at the higher levels.
> Which from what I have seen is the attitude of most of the MSFT people who
> work with XML from what I've seen them them write or heard them say.

Of course the microsoft.com domain in one's e-mail address is not an automatic 
designation of demonic malevolence.  Michael Rys mostly has very respectable 
things to say.  However, Rick was quite right, IMO, in pouncing on Michael's 
blythe minimization of the effect of introducing unescaped control characters.

> >I have been rather surprised at people's comments that "text" is somehow an
> >abstract idea which we are free to fiddle with, rather than being a mode
> >hardcoded into operating systems in which certain control characters are used
> >for certain control functions (e.g. EOF in particular) and is utterly
> distinct in
> >practical and operation terms from binary processing.  XML is text.
> However, I do agree that XML is primarily a text based technology and I'm
> uncomfortable with changes that would allow for control characters and other
> such gobblygok in XML files simply to please the data serialization folks.

Well, here we agree, but I don't see any reason this argument should be put 
across mildly.  It's not a drawing room disagreement over whose smoking jacket 
is more dignified.  Introducing control characters into XML is a very 
dangerous bit of nonsense.  Far more dangerous than elevating the status of 

Uche Ogbuji                               Principal Consultant
uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com               +1 303 583 9900 x 101
Fourthought, Inc.                         http://Fourthought.com 
4735 East Walnut St, Boulder, CO 80301-2537, USA
XML strategy, XML tools (http://4Suite.org), knowledge management


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