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Tim Bray wrote:
> There's really not too much paranoia-fuel in that complex of issues
> though. What really scares me is the recurring theme that we ought to
> re-frame XML as a data model and treat the syntax as just one
> serialization. That makes me seriously paranoid - if somebody promises
> me XML, I want a stream of unicode characters with angle-brackets, not
> some fragile opaque binary kludge which is advertised as having infoset
> semantics -Tim
Yes, that trend is worrying, I think in part due to confusion about what "XML"
is. To be honest, I don't think that there are many people that, having thought
about it and carefully measured their words, truly want to "re-frame XML as a
data model and treat the syntax as just one serialization".
What they see is that there is a huge amount of tools that can be used to work
with "XML", as well as a large talent pool. This leads them to use "XML" in
situations where XML proper (aka ABUC) causes problems. That is when they start
looking into ways of transmitting the infoset in ways more efficient than
expressing it with XML, which is the standard way to serialize the infoset even
if it wasn't created that way.
In other words, they're not necessarily treating the syntax as /just/ a
serialization: it just so happens that it's the only serialization they know of.
And sometimes they want another one.
So they want to send infosets around, because they play well with "XML" tools.
As long as the distinction is well understood, that doesn't make me paranoid.
What *does* make me paranoid is seeing those binary infosets created in ad hoc
fashions by people that don't see the difference, or that don't care if they do.
And yes, altogether too often the ad-hoc'ness of the enterprise, quickly
thrown together and ratified by a vertical industry consortium using the weight
of a big player, will produce a fragile opaque kludge of a format.
The problem is: binary infoset aren't going away. And I'm seriously concerned
that two years hence if I want to send XHTML+SVG to a constrained terminal I'll
have to kludge together two kludges into a third. Yuk.
Robin Berjon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Research Engineer, Expway
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