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   Re: [xml-dev] InnerXml is like printf (WAS: Underwhelmed)

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On further reflection, I've noticed a new issue with the InnerXML 
approach. It's ugly as hell.

Strings in C-like languages (Java, C++, C, and I think C#) just 
aren't the right containers for lots of literal XML. You can't embed 
line breaks, double quotes  have to be escaped, and in general it's 
just a mess.

There may be a place for an XML processing language that allows 
literal XML data. Indeed there's one very successful such language 
that I like quite a lot. Its initials are "X", "S", "L", and "T". But 
Java/C#/etc. are not such languages. They cannot reasonably embed 
literal XML code in a clean way.

About seven years ago I worked with some Informix preprocessor for C 
that allowed one to embed real SQL code directly in the C program. 
Then a preprocessor converted this C+SQL file into pure C with the 
appropriate library calls. That was sort of nice. I could see someone 
doing something like that for XML and Java. In this case, XML would 
probably be the host language that included embedded Java/C#, and the 
preprocessor could generate Java/C# code written to DOM/XOM/JDOM/etc. 
This would be very interesting if anyone cares to explore it.

However, I really think InnerXML goes too far from the DOM/JDOM/XOM 
style (everything's an object) and not far enough into the XSLT style 
(everything's XML). It ends up stuck in some gray area between the 
two. It's neither clean nor consistent, and that makes it confusing.

| Elliotte Rusty Harold | elharo@metalab.unc.edu | Writer/Programmer |
|          XML in a  Nutshell, 2nd Edition (O'Reilly, 2002)          |
|              http://www.cafeconleche.org/books/xian2/              |
|  http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN%3D0596002920/cafeaulaitA/  |
|  Read Cafe au Lait for Java News:  http://www.cafeaulait.org/      |
|  Read Cafe con Leche for XML News: http://www.cafeconleche.org/    |


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