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On Wednesday 16 January 2002 09:48 am, Elliotte Rusty Harold wrote:
> I think you're ignoring XML practice in order to win an increasingly
> obscure and irrelevant point. It's not hard to prove that you can
> transform any XML document into CSV or vice versa. In other words, a
> 1-1 onto mapping exists. Unfortunately, the way people use these
> formats is important. Mathematical equivalence is not the same as
> practical equivalence.
The point is important if you go making claims that "XML is
self-describing" or "XML is better than X" or "XML will do this".
The IT manager reads those phrases and thinks "jeez, this *is* a
silver bullet", buys it, and then end up with it between the eyes.
I agree that the way people use XML has benefits, but I honestly think
it's an accident of history that XML became the golden child as it
has, and not something else, like S-expressions. A lot of that has to
do with hype, and a lot of confusion and disappoinment also has to do
My whole point is that XML is *nothing*. It's *just* syntax... and has
no intrinsic meaning in and of itself. That said, well-developed
applications of XML *are* better than almost anything
else....especially in terms of flexibility/evolution. I've been
preaching that cautiously optimistic message for a long time...