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   Re: [xml-dev] Typing and paranoia

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Mike Champion wrote:
>   But the scenario I'm talking about
> (see Noah Mendelson's bit, and Gudge's piece that Len quotes) involves 
> processes that are mostly building synthetic infosets, and
> dealing with potentially thousands of messages per second.  From what 
> I'm hearing from developers of high-performance
> SOAP processors and XML middleware, that serialize/parse overhead
> is significant, and they aren't doing it.  They ARE reinventing
> wheels, and want to do it just once (or some manageable number).
> My question is "given that they are not doing it with XML syntax, is
> the world better off having a larger menu of standardized Infoset
> serialization formats for high performance inter-process communication,
> or better off letting these people roll their own without the benefit
> of standardization"  (Or letting them grow their own standards bodies).

I suspect such serialization formats are apt to be highly 
application-specific in their design. I'd need convincing that there's 
going to be one compact/binary serialization format that's a win across 
a wide spectrum of application needs.  My instinct in this kind of app 
would be that instead of another serialization format I'd rather work 
with a nice Object Model with well-thought-through accessors and 
iterators and so on, so I don't have to *think* about yet another data 
format.  The world has RMI and CORBA and .NET to help do this kind of 

What I'm totally against is polluting the XML brand-name with this kind 
of short-lived binary construct.  Right now, the label "XML" implies a 
strong set of claims: a high degree of interoperability, good 
internationalization, lack of vendor lock-in, and good tool 
availability.  Those claims are by & large based on streams of unicode 
characters with angle-brackets.

If you think you're bright enough to invent another interchange format 
that has a similar value proposition, go ahead and do it.  I think it's 
a *much* harder problem than XML is aimed at, and it's going to be 
tough.  If someone does this and it works, then probably it deserves its 
own brand name.  It might even deserve to share XML's, but that's only 
after we have a lot more evidence than we do now that the goal is even 
achievable.  -Tim


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