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At the risk of starting up the perennial "binary XML" debate again, I
direct your attention to http://www.sys-con.com/xml/articleprint.cfm?id=
"XML isn't binary, and while this means that knotty problems like little-
endian/big-endian confusion are avoided, it also means that raw XML data
isn't ideal for wireless transmission. In fact, design goal No. 10 for XML
states that "terseness in XML markup is of minimal importance." This
doesn't rule out XML for wireless transmission, but it does mean that
compression is a must. ...One component of the WAP specification that has
been submitted to the World Wide Web Consortium is a description of
Wireless Binary XML (WBXML for short). WBXML defines a compact binary
representation of XML. It reduces the transmission size of XML documents,
allowing more effective use of XML data on narrowband communication
There's no disputing that wireless devices are bandwidth challenged and
that "terseness" is not one of XML's virtues. But as Elliotte Harold puts
"there seems to be a large pool of programmers who mistakenly believe
...they can compress better than gzip."
So, my somewhat ignorant question is: why would these WBXML folks go to
the trouble of defining yet another compression scheme for wireless XML?
Aren't the usual compression techniques available in wireless
toolkits/operating systems? Can XML-specific compression schemes be
implemented in significantly less space than gzip (or LZW, or some other
widely deployed scheme)? Finally, I thought the WAP Forum had learned its
lesson about diverging from standard practice (de facto or otherwise) on
the internet, since the wireless infrastructure will not lag TOO far
behind the rest of the internet, but it takes quite a bit of time to
deploy enough WAP technology to make it worthwhile for enough people to
support it to be worthwhile ....
Can anyone help sort this out for me?