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   Re: RE: [xml-dev] XML should NOT be a new programming language

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3/4/2002 9:45:01 AM, "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <clbullar@ingr.com> wrote:

>XML:  the pine tree of syntax-unified systems.

Uhhh, more cryptic than usual today, Len :~)

"Pine" as in soft, easily workable wood that is marginally suitable for almost anything, 
but not really optimal for most high-quality work?  Or "pine" as the tree that quickly 
colonizes a disturbed area, but is replaced by the hardwoods once it has stabilized the 
local ecology a bit?

I'm beginning to believe that something like the latter analogy is taking place.  XML is 
thriving because it is SOOOOOOO much better than nothing, i.e., integrating all those 
disparate applications and formats with code. XML has been a hit with the early adopters, 
but now the mainstream is getting into the act, and I'm hearing lots of responses along the 
lines of Niels Peter Strandberg's.  XML has proved the concept that a standardized, text 
based meta-syntax can do the job in principle.  That brings in people who have no vested 
interest in backwards-compatibility with all sorts of legacy stuff, don't care about the 
"way it is done in XML," but need to get the job done going forward. That changes the rules 
of the game considerably. 

Things are going to get more and more interesting ... and we're sure to hear increasing 
calls for "refactorization" of the XML technologies to expose their very real strengths in 
ways that are more congenial to the mainstream developers of the world.  [Look at the 
XInclude/external entity/canonicalization discussion, and ask yourself "if I were a C++ 
programmer working on my first XML project, would I be screaming in frustration when 
confronted with this stuff?"] The only alternative is "don't worry your nerdy little head 
about all those pointy brackets, they're hidden behind our IDEs, APIs, wizards, and 
adapters."  So far, that approach isn't looking good as a basis for real interoperability.


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