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Not only do you make outlandish claims but you overempasize what are
irrelevant issues as serious problems.
PS: XML can't represent objects at best it can represent C-style structs
and even then it needs a notion of IDness to do this completely.
PITHY WORDS OF WISDOM
A pipe gives a wise man time to think and a fool something to stick in
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mike Plusch [mailto:email@example.com]
> Sent: Friday, January 17, 2003 11:57 AM
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Rodriguez, Sergio" <email@example.com>
> >I've always assumed that "compatible with XML" meant "would pass
> >through an XML 1.0 parser without a fatal error".
> I say that a standard "uses the XML 1.0 syntax".
> Compatibility usually implies that one thing can be used
> instead of another thing. You wouldn't say that XHTML could
> be used instead of XML -- it's comparing different things.
> I think it is confusing if you say that XHTML is compatible
> with XML. A vocabulary using XML syntax is much different
> that a syntax.
> Mike Plush wrote:
> >If you ask 5 developers to create an XML 1.0 representation for a
> >single, well-specific object (say a Java object), then you
> will likely
> >get 5 _different_ XML 1.0 representations for that same
> object. This
> >is a HUGE problem that leads to a lot of semantic ambiguity.
> >has no such problem.
> Sergio Rodriguez wrote:
> >How can this be? Any examples of how "ConciseXML" resolves the
> >ambiguity problem of the abstraction of any entity?
> Sure. I'll take a section from Chapter 2 of my Water book.
> XML is commonly used to represent data structures. A data
> structure is just a way to represent data that obeys some
> well-defined structure. I will describe how Water can
> formally describe the structure of data by using Water Type
> and Water Contract. But this chapter shows how to
> unambiguously represent static data by using Water.
> Representing static data might seem straightforward, but XML
> 1.0 has some design constraints carried over from the
> document markup world that make representing data in XML
> quite confusing. A discussion about elements versus
> attributes is a common example of this confusion.
> In most programming languages and other technologies for
> representing data, there is a concept of a data structure,
> data value, or object. This book, by convention, will use the
> term object. The word object will be similar to other terms
> such as a record, structure, or tuple from other technologies.
> In most programming languages, an object has fields, and
> those fields hold values that are other objects. Water
> objects have this property as well. An object is a collection
> of fields. Each field has a key and a value. The value can be
> any object.
> The following is an example of an item object.
> <item id="XL283 " color=="blue " size==10/>
> The preceding XML could be verbally described as creating an
> instance of an item object. The instance has three fields: id
> , color , and size . The value of the id field is the string
> "XL283 ", the value of the color field is "blue ", and the
> value of the size field is the number 10 .
> The type or class of the object appears as the element's
> name, immediately following the opening angle bracket (<).
> The fields of the object are represented as key-value pairs
> within the element's opening area.
> When you see an opening angle bracket, it syntactically is
> the start of an XML element, but it has the semantic meaning
> of performing a call. The call is either the calling of
> method, or the calling of a constructor method of an object.
> Fields of an object have a clear and unambiguous key and value.
> <item id="xx283 " color=="blue " size==10/>
> In the preceding line, the instance of item has three fields.
> "id "is the key of the first field, and "xx283 "is the value
> of the field. "color "is the key of the second field and
> "blue "is its value. "size "is the key of the third field and
> the integer 10 is its value.
> It is very common, though, to see the following XML to
> represent the instance of item above.
> To the vast majority of people, the above XML looks very
> normal and easily understood, but this is an example of XML
> in the flat-world model. The round-world model sees this as
> an ambiguous, poorly constructed XML data object.
> problem that is described in detail later in this chapter is
> that the syntax of an XML element is used to represent two
> very different things: an object and a field of an object.
> Having one syntax to represent two different concepts
> presents a serious ambiguity. This ambiguity leads to a
> serious problem when a machine tries to interpret the meaning
> of the XML data.
> For a data structure to be useful, the distinction between
> objects and fields is extremely important. How, for example,
> do you know that <color>blue</color> represents a field of
> item and not an instance of type color ? As humans, we use
> our gift of pattern recognition to deduce that color must be
> a field of item because it occurs within the content of item
> and it has blue in the content of the element.
> To emphasize the ambiguity, what if you wrapped the item
> within another color element? Is item now a field of color ?
> Did the meaning of item radically change because it moved to
> a different level in the structure?
> If a serious ambiguity appears in such a small example,
> imagine the scope of the problem when objects and data
> structures get more complex. At a minimum, data structures
> need to be unambiguous and not depend on any other knowledge
> for interpreting a data structure.
> Most XML examples today exhibit the problem of element
> ambiguity where elements are used for both representing a
> field of an object as well as objects themselves. The problem
> occurs in most XML standards and text-book examples from
> major publishers. It is so common, in fact, that it is almost
> impossible to find XML examples that do not have this problem.
> believe that the "object-field ambiguity" of XML is one of
> the primary reasons why XML is much more complex than
> necessary. This widespread problem is one of the reasons for
> the slow pace of XML adoption.
> Water's use of XML makes a clear separation between objects
> and fields. An XML element represents an object. XML
> attributes represent fields of an object. The ConciseXML
> syntax allows any type of object as the value of an
> attribute; therefore, Water supports fields that can store
> any type of object -not just strings.
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