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   Re: [xml-dev] Adam Bosworth Article - what does "direct access" mean?

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On Thu, 16 Jan 2003 12:24:54 -0500
"Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com> wrote:

> It's an understatement to say that I'm sick and tired of programmers
> and database developers trying to cram what XML does into their
> particular views of the world - and worse, to inflict those views on
> XML itself through a standards process gone rotten.

I actually find both camps a little amusing. I am definitely a
programmer not a document person. My first uses of XML were structured
data. I have also used it for generic document markup.

Throughout my programming career, I've always found the "one true
way" arguments to be more amusing than irritating.<grin/>

Basically, I find XML useful for:

  1. Structured data
  2. Document markup
  3. Complex data with added attributes.
     (I really love using attributes to pass on low-level
     assumptions about data that everyone "just knows".)
  4. much, much more

A few years ago, I came to the simple understanding that XML is
just another flexible medium. With the right tools and a little
imagination, it can help me solve lots of problems.

> Someone needs to tell those people that some degree of appreciation
> for XML's fundamentals is necessary if they hope to take advantage of
> XML instead of just shoveling it into whatever they happen to be
> doing.  If vendors are too busy selling shovels to be bothered,
> someone else has to fill the gap.

One of the best signs that a tools has been done right is when it is
used successfully for things it wasn't designed for. Many programmers
(and worse company's) are still enamored with XML and try to force it
to be everything they want. Many document peope are used to markup
and "know" how it should work. In general, the later group does not
appear to be as vocal.

Some of my best fundamental insights into XML came from some of Simon
St.Laurent's writing. I've successfully applied these insights to both
document markup and XML markup.<shrug/>

Sorry for the ramble.

G. Wade
"any technology sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from a Perl
script."                                  -- Programming Perl, 2nd ed.


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