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   Re: [xml-dev] Typing and paranoia

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Tim Bray wrote:
> 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.  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. 
>  Since about 15 seconds after XML's release, the API bigots have been 
> trying to recover from this terrible mistake and pretend that the syntax 
> is ephemeral and the reality is the data structure, just read chapters 3 
> through 27 of the API spec, buy the programmer's toolkit, sign up for 
> professional services and hey-presto, you'll be able to access your own 
> data, isn't that wonderful!?!?
> 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

The only people I see doing this are the automatic marshalling "your programmers 
won't even have to know it's xml" people. I might have missed out on other 
attempts. I can say that I think it's a weird idea, but I can't say it scare me 
yet. Perhaps I haven't been paying enough attention.

Binary infoset don't have to be synonymous with vendor lock-in and loss of 
interoperability. When I asked the TAG two months ago if it had been giving 
thought to binary infosets I had a clear idea of things that are going on in 
some industries, and not the smaller ones. And it worried me, as it still does. 
The horror you describe above reminds me of what the days predating SVG were 
like when one wished to produce interactive vector graphics.

I don't want to go back there. And I'm not going to wait until we're in the last 
ditch when entire Web or "webbish" segments are vendor-locked and 
non-interoperable before I take action on the threat. I don't think pollution is 
stopped with evasive action. That's why I'm researching binfosets.

Robin Berjon <robin.berjon@expway.fr>
Research Engineer, Expway
7FC0 6F5F D864 EFB8 08CE  8E74 58E6 D5DB 4889 2488


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