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   RE: SV: SV: [xml-dev] XML=WAP? And DOA?

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At 5:51 PM +0100 1/15/02, Nicolas LEHUEN wrote:

>Maybe what we try to say is that from a programmatical point of view, there
>is no added information in a format where the meta-data is embedded into the
>data, compared to a format where meta-data is expressed in a header and pure
>data follows. The only advantage is for human eyes ; it is great for
>debugging. But one should never think that embedding meta-data within data
>gives any advantage to XML vs. "header-then-data" formats.

That's exactly what I do think. Embedding meta-data within data 
offers huge advantages. Debugging's just one of them. XML formats are 
more robust. They are easier to author. They are easier to edit. They 
are fail-fast. They make it very easy to find and fix problems when 
they do arise. They are easier to extend into non-tabular structures. 
They are better in a very real sense. That's why people use them.

>  Your definition
>of "opacity" is anthropomorphical ; from a computer perspective, XML and CSV
>are equally crystal clear on the lexical level and completely opaque on the
>semantic level.

I'm not totally convinced that XML is quite as semantically opaque to 
a computer as you think, but even granting that we have two formats 
which are the same to a computer but one is significantly better for 
people. Guess which one I choose?

| Elliotte Rusty Harold | elharo@metalab.unc.edu | Writer/Programmer |
|          The XML Bible, 2nd Edition (Hungry Minds, 2001)           |
|              http://www.ibiblio.org/xml/books/bible2/              |
|   http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0764547607/cafeaulaitA/   |
|  Read Cafe au Lait for Java News:  http://www.cafeaulait.org/      |
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