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   Re: [xml-dev] Typing and paranoia

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On Thursday 05 December 2002 23:35, Tim Bray wrote:

> 3. I have yet to encounter, in 21 years in the software business, any
> program-level facility, whether it be SAX events, DOM trees,  SQL APIs,
> POSIX, you name it, that offers the interoperability you get by
> exchanging XML messages. 

Ah, you have missed out! There have been better things around for ages, I am 
afraid to say :-)

 There's a deep tension here that won't go away.  Some of us really
> REALLY want to be able to deal with the bits on the wire and REALLY like
> the open-ness and interoperability that gives us.  Others really REALLY
> want to take the bits on the wire away and present us instead with an
> API that has 117 entry points averaging 5 arguments and try to convince
> us that this is somehow equivalent. 

I don't think anyone wants that, silly!

What people seem to want is to be able to have information in program A and 
to send it over thet network to program B. This can be done perfectly well 
without needing to do much more than say "Runtime library, send this over 
there!" - the main issue is compatability of object models rather than the 
precise bit streams you send at the lower levels; most languages have a 
fairly compatible data structures library of lists, maps, 
things-with-fields-in, numbers, strings and so on.

This is what ASN.1 provides, and XDR to a lesser extent, and CORBA to a 
similar extent with a bit more overhead, and RMI provides with certain 
caveats (THAT GET ON MY NERVES) within the Java environment...

> XML, for the first time in my
> professional career, represents a consensus on interoperability: that it
> is achieved by interchanging streams of characters with embedded markup.

In case you hadn't noticed, there was a lot of interoperability before XML 
came around:

1) The international telephone network
2) The Internet (from IP up to the WWW)
3) Image file formats
4) CSV and TSV
5) Zip files
6) Filesystems

Throw off those rose tinted glasses! We were interoperating quite happily 
before XML came along, thanks. Maybe you spent most of those 21 years in 
Microsoft environments which don't interoperate well with the rest, but the 
rest of us were happily moving code and data between (in my case) various 
flavours of unix, DOS, RISC OS, and Windows.

> But you're not going to take the bits on the wire away from us without a
> huge messy noisy fight down to the last ditch. -Tim



A city is like a large, complex, rabbit
 - ARP


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