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   Re: [xml-dev] Sean McGrath hits a home run

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At 03:35 PM 12/16/2002, Mike Champion wrote:
>>I believe that it is impossible to optimize *both* API and data 
>Reminds me of the  "syntax - data model duality" I've proposed ... sortof 
>an uncertainty principle of formats vs APIs.  There's something deep here 
>that I don't think software engineering has a good handle on right now....

>Does someone with a better handle on recent developments in computer 
>science or software engineering have a better answer

... maybe but I wouldn't know ...

>or compelling refutation to the assertion that we're in somewhat uncharted 
>theoretical territory here?

I don't know about that either, except that sometimes I wonder whether this 
isn't a Nominalist vs. Realist debate in another guise. That is, there are 
those who believe a string is just a string (and sufficient unto the day is 
the string thereof), and then those who take XML as a format or notation as 
a rather uninteresting or unattractive (albeit sometimes a useful) 
*representation* of a "true" data object, or at least (might say a more 
sophisticated Realist) of a better representation (perhaps as an in-memory 
instantiation of an abstract object) of the true abstraction than any poor 
string (so non-optimized!) can be....

(Another way of getting at this distinction is by asking "so what exactly 
are you putting into your pipeline?")

So the theoretical territory may be uncharted, but there are plenty of old 
stories about it.

Nudging up on these issues, I wrote and delivered a paper to Extreme Markup 
Languages last year ... see a copy, if you are interested, at 


Wendell Piez                            mailto:wapiez@mulberrytech.com
Mulberry Technologies, Inc.                http://www.mulberrytech.com
17 West Jefferson Street                    Direct Phone: 301/315-9635
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Rockville, MD  20850                                 Fax: 301/315-8285
   Mulberry Technologies: A Consultancy Specializing in SGML and XML


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