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>If people just needed interop and tools, they didn't need to
>hijack XML for the purpose.
I largely agree with this, but only because it is in the past tense. The
term 'de facto' springs to mind - if loads more people had spent loads more
time in developing tools for processing csv files, then csv would be the
format of choice for interop.
>Comma delimited files provide *all*
>the power of XML for relational and OO dumps with much fewer
>inefficiencies and much less cruft (CDATA sections, entities, etc.)
I disagree - the structure of csv might be a good match for relational data
*if* there was a convenient way of making links between files. Ok,
hyperlinking (XHTML, XLink or whatever) isn't strictly part of the XML spec,
but if you stand back from the spec you see a whole load of layered
technologies. If you stand back from comma delimited files all you see is
smaller comma delimited files.
The structure of XML is hierarchical (element tree) and has property slots
(attributes) and so makes a much better fit for OO data than flat files.
>Again, we are here talking XML, not OO or relational systems. XML
>is a *text processing system*.
Rather a pointless statement IMHO, like saying a relational system is a
binary processing system.
My potted theory of why XML has
>gained so much sudden prominence in such a diversity of fields is
>that a lot of the weaknesses of the super-platonic approach to
>software design (i.e. relational and OO thinking) have been
>showing of late, and developers were initially amazed at how much
>more productive they could be with loosely-coupled systems based on XML.
I'm not entirely sure which aspect of platonic thinking you have in mind
(!clintonic?) but I think I agree here - XML more than anything has acted as
a catalyst for interop, breaking people out of closed systems.