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   Re: [xml-dev] The general XML processing problem

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On Mon, 2002-07-15 at 19:00, W. E. Perry wrote:
> Joe English wrote:
> > The best answer to the question "How does an XML document indicate how it
> > should be processed?" is "It doesn't."
> >
> > "How does an XML document indicate how it should be processed *in system
> > XYZ*?"  can be answered by system XYZ.
> This is a wonderfully succinct statement of the consequences of data being
> autonomous from process. 

Exactly! And I would argue:

1) That its has always been like this, that data has always been
autonomous and longer term than processes and that it's not a revolution
or even something new but the recognition of a fact that should
facilitate the next transition to the next cool technology.

2) People who want to plug static datatypes at any price just fail to
see that fact :-)...

> I would love to think that we could say 'Amen' and
> leave the matter here at rest. I have, however, reluctantly concluded that
> the desire for documents to express authorial intent or preference is simply
> too strong and too widely held to be overcome even by repeated demonstration
> of the superior usefulness of a simpler, loosely-coupled architecture.
> End-to-end enforcement of the narrow intent of an original author pervades
> monolithic process designs. XML gives us the opportunity for more versatile,
> more reusable, and less brittle processes, but only if we understand,
> respect, and enforce the difference between data and instruction.
> > (XML 1.0 even defines a handy place to put such instructions -- in an
> > <?XYZ ...?> PI -- but for some reason that's considered heretical.)
> It is heretical, if it presumes enough a priori knowledge of process XYZ to
> be comfortable instructing that process in the execution of its own
> functions.

Yep! I am more and more convinced that any kind of "PI" and type
information should be "soft" hints for application and stay as little
intrusive as possible and external to documents and core technologies.

> Respectfully,
> Walter Perry
See you in San Diego.
Eric van der Vlist       http://xmlfr.org            http://dyomedea.com
(W3C) XML Schema ISBN:0-596-00252-1 http://oreilly.com/catalog/xmlschema


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