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   Re: [xml-dev] Paranoia and Slippery Slopes (was Re: [xml-dev] bohemians,

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mc@xegesis.org (Mike Champion) writes:
Mike Champion writes:
>The theme running throughout this permathread is not that types,
>validation, even static typing are  Bad Things, but that they should
>not be imposed as the One True Path by the specwriters.  

Precisely.  However, that formulation doesn't seem to work very well
with spec writers, as too many of them blunder on while murmuring  "it's
just optional, and you don't have to use it."  

In closed systems where you have (ha! yeah right!) complete control of
your documents and their processing, such claims may actually work.  In
open systems, or even in closed systems over time, such "options"
rapidly turn into a mire of reconciling the different options different
developers chose to use in their own implementations.  

Something as simple as the choice of a non-validating parser - one with
or without external subset support - can create bizarre problems that
aren't easily diagnosed by people who don't know every detail of the XML
1.0 specification.  Moving deeper into strong typing and an ever-growing
list of the many parts that must match up for interop to work reliably
seems counter-productive - a clear sign that "it's optional, don't worry
about it" is a false claim that imposes significant costs.

>Jonathan's mantra "show me
>the concrete problems with building on types/ PSVI/etc." worries me
>simply because I think it reverses the burden of proof.  I want
>concrete success stories of how the paradigm shift from text to types
>actually helps solve real problems better/faster/ cheaper 

I wish that burden had been imposed long ago.  Somewhere along the line,
maybe in the early days of WXS, it feels to me like XML was outright
hijacked by different communities with little understanding of what
markup is actually good for.  

I'll join Alaric Snell in wishing that some of these people had chosen
ASN.1 for their magic acronym rather than imposing their feature-filled
universe on markup's do-more-with-less approach to labels and
structures.  ASN.1 was designed with a strongly-typed paradigm in mind,
not burdened with it as an expensive afterthought.

>before I'm
>going to get my back down, fur flattened, and hissing stopped. [It's
>obvious I live in a multi-cat household, eh?]

My dogs would agree, though hissing isn't their preferred approach.
Simon St.Laurent
Ring around the content, a pocket full of brackets
Errors, errors, all fall down!
http://simonstl.com -- http://monasticxml.org


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