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----- Original Message -----
From: "Seairth Jacobs" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> As I have been following the more academic threads involving limerick
> validation and representation in XML, one thought keeps coming into my
> mind: Why XML in the first place? Sure, it can be done. But should it?
> After all, while XML is generic in nature, that does not mean that it can
> should be applied to all things. XML makes sense when you are trying to
> pass purchase orders around or when you want to annotate a document and so
> on. But does that mean it is just as good a technology to use for a
> limerick or haiku?
UNIX command line is hard to grap, but all the
senior developers, whom I know, still spend
quite a bit of time writing scripts and pipes,
*not* pressing the buttons in a GUI and I think
that the 'command line' will never die.
On another hand, GUI is good for many things
( and for many people ).
There are several essays on the web about the
GUI and the command line and I think the
conclusion should be : "we need both".
Now what is the 'command line' (and
'regular expressions', for that matter) . It is :
"invest some time into learning some
cryptic stuff, but then be more productive,
when using the computer".
GUI is :
"in some cases, you would be more productive,
when using the computer, but mostly it is
good because you can afford not to learn".
This is of course a simplification, but I think
that the 'command line vs GUI' pattern is
applicable, to, say YAML vs XML.
Can 'everything be done with the 'GUI only'?
Sure. Is it always handy? Not really. For example,
I can not prepare a document in MS Word.
Yes, I have no shame and I can say it. I suck.
I also know one guy who was one of
core developers of Caissa chess program
( should be smart guy ), but who had some
trouble sending a fax with some modern
( expensive ) fax machine. He has written an
essay about that ( in Russian, sorry ). The point
was that the fax machine should have
just one button on it : "Send".
Whatever. My point is that GUI simplifies some
things ( so does rich markup ) and GUI complicates
some other things ( so does rich markup ).
The obvious example is XPath. It is not XML and
it is good because it is not XML. I believe that
*nobody* would use XSLT if XPath would
be 'marked up'.
Saying 'everything should be marked up with rich XML
markup' is like saying : "everything should be GUI,
because GUI 'makes life easy' ".
Long live UNIX command line. Long live the '|'
symbol, which separates two big groups of people.
Those, who invest in learning cryptic syntaxes
and those, who don't.
PS. Another example would be to ask mathematicians
to drop their weird-looking characters and to start
using the plain English, damn it! Something tells me
that mathematicians would not agree.