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   Re: [xml-dev] XML=WAP? And DOA?

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1/13/2002 10:04:39 PM, Paul T <pault12@pacbell.net> wrote:

>I hate to say it, but I think that all that markup stuff 
>is actually about placing '\' and ',' symbols on steroids in 
>one way or another. Why can't people agree that 
>any 'markup' language is :
>0. Everything is (unicode) text.
>1. Text can have  'groups' , separated by 'separators' 
>( the less, the better, but hard to tell in advance ;-)
>2. There should be some way to escape separators 
>( \ works just fine, from my point of view ;-)
>Isn't it all we need to know about the 'markup 
language' ;-)?

Well, your scheme (and CSV) require some sort of schema to 
define what the fields are.  XML has the tags as 
separators,allowing the data to be "self describing" at the 
cost of only easily-compressible vebosity.  Also, your scheme 
would make flexible hierarchical data difficult to exchange.  

If I've missed your point and "separators" can be self-
describing, I think you've described "minimal XML" 

>Why restrict ourselvs to 'one markup language, that fits 
all' ?

Metcalfe's Law -- the value of a technology rises with the 
square of the number of users.  To some extent, costs of 
"forcing square pegs into round holes" are outweighed by 
economies of scale, familiarity, tool availability, etc.  For 
example, let's say that I had some data I needed to exchange, 
and YAML or Chunks was just perfect for my needs whereas XML 
was overkill.  BUT the folks on the other end would have to 
be educated on what YAML/Chunks is all about (whereas they 
have had XML shoved in their faces for years now), would have 
to be supplied with tools (XML comes "for free" with every 
platform), so it would probably be cheaper and easier to do 
it clumsily with XML than elegantly with YAML/chunks.  

XML doesn't restrict the alternatives, but its success makes 
them less and less viable EVEN WHEN THEY ARE BETTER SUITED TO 

>That would be also the right thing to do! 

Worse is better, sigh.  Not many people like that fact, but 
even fewer have prospered by betting against it.


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