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   FW: [xml-dev] XML=WAP? And DOA?

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jens Jakob Andersen, PDI [mailto:jens.jakob.andersen@post.dk]
> Sent: 14 January 2002 13:00
> To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
> Subject: SV: [xml-dev] XML=WAP? And DOA?
> Hi all
> I find this interesting and enlightning.
> To draw some early conclusions:
> 1. One of the largest benefits of XML, is that is has 
> generated a hype wave. This hype wave enables us to talk 
> about XML with likeminded, sell fun projects to our 
> customers, and get to travel to interesting conferences.

Possibly for the lucky few!
> 2. XML in itself is no more advanced than CSV. (Well, maybe a 
> bit more, but not revolutionary.)

A big advantage that XML has over comma delmited formats, is that in XML,
structure is self describing. You know from the order of angle brackets and
taqs the relationships between elements of a document, even if you don't
know what they mean (which allows you to build standard APIs over XML). CSV
only tells you where one field ends and another starts, and that is it
(without supporting documentation). Obviously this property is not actually
intrinsic to XML, it is simply that there is a spec to follow. Someone could
come up with one for comma delimited data.

> 3. XML is not easy. It is easy to write a XML document, but 
> when you begin to work with DOM, SAX, XSLT etc. it gets complex.

But you don't have to if you don't want to, and are these things harder than
any generic, general-purpose alternatives (if such exist)?
In my own experience I have to say that writing code to parse a file of
known structure, and transform its contents into something else, for sake of
example, is (mostly) straight forward and mechanical, however you do it. The
hard bits are the whys and whens, i.e. the business logic. This remains the
case whatever technology you use. 

> 4. No technology is a silverbullet that will save the world 
> and mankind.

Good point. Use each technology appropriately, in conjunction with other
complementary technologies.

> 5. I think that XML is still in many areas trying to find a 
> place to live between SGML, HTML and RPC, and not really 
> fullfilling any of the needs.

Or, looking at it the other way round, there are many inappropriate or
ineffective uses of any technology, and we are currently discovering which
are inappropriate, or just badly implemented for XML.

As I have already mentioned in a previous post, XML like structures have
already proved their worth in the past, but in clearly defined areas.

All the best

Mark Seaborne


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