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   RE: [xml-dev] how they really feel about XML

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  • To: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>,<xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
  • Subject: RE: [xml-dev] how they really feel about XML
  • From: "Dare Obasanjo" <dareo@microsoft.com>
  • Date: Wed, 9 Oct 2002 10:50:12 -0700
  • Thread-index: AcJvohOr5DgcGWsNS9CKSK7+otjLFQAGhdjA
  • Thread-topic: [xml-dev] how they really feel about XML

XML is overhyped rants are so 2000. 

Marriage is the only union that has consistently defied management.

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Simon St.Laurent [mailto:simonstl@simonstl.com] 
> Sent: Wednesday, October 09, 2002 7:41 AM
> To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
> Shelley Powers has written a piece called "The Parable of the 
> Languages"
> that I find to be a simultaneously funny and accurate 
> description of the ways in which XML is commonly discussed 
> outside of this community.
> http://weblog.burningbird.net/archives/000581.php
> Programmers of most stripes will find some entertainment 
> about their own environments, but it's the conclusion that 
> troubles me most but makes me think hardest.
> [few blank lines to avoid spoilers]
> It seems to me that there are a few real problems here amidst 
> the humor.  
> First, that XML was hyped up, most particularly as a solution 
> to programmers' problems.  I'm finding more and more over 
> time that XML isn't what programmers are actually looking 
> for, once they get past superficial examples.  Programmers 
> are looking for communications tools that require less work 
> for more communications, and XML sort of covers the "more 
> communications" among environments but not necessarily the 
> "less work" angle.  We now have an ever-growing stack of Web 
> Services junk that claims to offer the "less work" angle, but 
> it seems to have become work in its own category.
> Second, that people think of XML as a programming language.  
> I don't think that "XML as a programming language" is a 
> common theme on this list, but I do get lots of naive email 
> questions pretty much to that effect.  I'm not sure that XML 
> had any business at that gathering of programming languages.
> Finally, to push back on the programming languages, I'm 
> astounded that programmers seem to have such an impossible 
> time wrapping their heads around what markup is actually good 
> for. (I think relational databases had similar problems, but 
> less culture clash.  Tables less alien to computers than 
> documents and all that.)  
> I keep seeing the same old XML-as-object-serialization story 
> that makes XML out to be an excitingly half-baked technology 
> for letting programs talk to programs.  There's no question 
> that XML can be used for that, but it reminds me a bit of a 
> guy who'd written Perl programs which communicated over 
> sockets using a very readable though simple subset of 
> English. It was great for debugging, admittedly.
> Of course, I'm happy to admit that I'm taking a whimsical 
> parable far too seriously, as usual.  It does seem like a 
> good thing to ponder in the context of "XML development", however.
> -------------
> Simon St.Laurent - SSL is my TLA
> http://simonstl.com may be my URI
> http://monasticxml.org may be my ascetic URI 
> urn:oid: is another possibility altogether
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