OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help



   Re: [xml-dev] bohemians, gentry

[ Lists Home | Date Index | Thread Index ]

On Wed, 04 Dec 2002 13:11:03 -0500, Jonathan Robie <jonathan.robie@datadirect- 
technologies.com> wrote:

> But all data has a lexical representation, whether or not it also has a data 
> type. I still do not understand why the presence of a data type makes it 
> harder to take advantage of the lexical representation. I know that a lot 
> of people on this list believe that it does - and vehemently believe that 
> it does.

Think of the "HTML" produced by MS Word, and (at least from reports here) 
the XML that the next version of Word will produce when one does
a Save as XML (one tag per word, perhaps, probably lots of attributes with 
numeric values that make no sense without detailed documentation).

Of course, one *could* just use the lexical representation, write DOM or 
XSLT code to put it into a more usable form, blah blah blah.  But on the 
other hand, how many
people are going to do this?  It is essentially a serialization of the Word 
model, using a complex and very strongly typed schema, and the path of 
least resistance by far is to use Word to edit the stuff.
(Which, ahem, is probably the whole point).

More generally,  the more you rely on the "data types"
(very broadly defined) to define and process the XML, the less useful it 
will be for
anyone who doesn't use the same semantics, type sytstems, language 
etc. as you do.  This is not *necessarily* a Bad Thing, it just produces a 
tighter coupling between producers and consumers of the XML than the
"bohemian" style that Uche discusses.  Tight coupling has its advantages, 
it lets you do all that compile-time static typechecking stuff.  The point 
is that
it also has its disadvantages: fragility across time, non-portability 
across systems
(e.g. with different conceptions of dates and integers), dependence on a 
vendor, etc...... all those things that XML was supposed to take us away 


News | XML in Industry | Calendar | XML Registry
Marketplace | Resources | MyXML.org | Sponsors | Privacy Statement

Copyright 2001 XML.org. This site is hosted by OASIS