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> > This is one of the hypes about XML, that I'd like to defuse.
> > XML is not any more self-describing than CSV files. E.g.
> > <99874987kjhk>
> > <gnygngyasdada>
> > What is this?
> > </gnygngyasdada>
> > </99874987kjhk>
> > Case proved?
> No. I know from your snippet that <gnygngyasdada> is child of
> <99874987kjhk>, and that it contains some character data. I
> don't know what
> it means, but I can write some code to parse it, so that
> someone who does
> know what it means can at least look at it.
If we agree on the file being a XML file.
> Big advance on
> 99874987kjhk,gnygngyasdada,What is this?
"","What is this?"
> With a comma delimited (in its most generic sense) structure
> I don't know
> what is data, what is tag (if any), what relationship fields
> have with each
> other, or even what constitutes a record (I have had to write
> code to handle
> 1 record per line and multiple, fixed or variable lines per record).
Unless you have the information that it is a CSV file, and that the first line is the CSV header (just as you need to know that it is a XML file.)
What I am trying to say, is that the quote "XML is selfdescribing" is wrong and unproved.
It should maybe read: "XML has, as e.g. also CSV files and other formatted files, support for adding field descriptors to the data. If this is used in a consistent and well-documented manner, it will support the understandability of the XML or CSV files."
-Mike: Good point. I bet that the Excel XML file could be quite unreadable.