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   Re: [xml-dev] Typing and paranoia

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Mike Champion wrote:

> Sigh.  I kindof hope that Paul Prescod is listening, because it's
> exactly this point that keeps me from adopting RESTifarianism wholesale.

And I hope Kibo is listening.

My thought on "tools that hide the XML" is this: the X in XML stands for 
extensible. If you don't care about extensbiility then you can hide the 
XML. XML-RPC and SOAP-RPC do a good job of this.

> ...

>   On the other
> hand, "good" systems such as the Internet and Web don't require 
> developers to understand the nasty details of TCP/IP or HTTP.

Actually, you can't do significant development with TCP/IP without 
understanding how IP addresses and NAT work. And you can't do 
significant Web work without understanding a fair bit about HTTP: how 
addressing works, how to respond to events, etc. I think people 
underestimate the amount of effort it took the whole industry to get its 
head around the Internet and the Web. It took MUCH more effort to learn 
to build web sites than "web services" and still does. Where web site 
building is still a specialty, web service building isn't really, and 
probably will not be as long as people believe that it is just about 
wrapping up pre-existing APIs in invisible-but-present angle-brackets.

But if people can solve their problems without learning much, I hav eno 
problem with that. I just don't believe that's true.

> I personally think that the best *business* strategy is to make sure
> that you working with just those  bits of the Web and XML
> infrastructure that they can understand and  develop with without
> necessarily requiring the toolkits,  and choose toolkit vendors who 
> automate the  tedium rather than hiding the  architecture of the 
> infrastructure.

I think it is fine for a toolkit to hide irrelevant details. The problem 
is that the industry doesn't have concensus on what is irrelevant and 
what is relevant. I think that for most people, the bit-encoding of 
UTF-8 is irrelevant. On the other hand, knowing how to manipulate XML 
event streams or trees is probably quite relevant if you want XML's 
extensibility benefits.

  Paul Prescod


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