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   Re: [xml-dev] Pure syntax vs the Infoset permathread (was Re: [xml-dev]

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On Tuesday 25 February 2003 10:48 am, Mike Champion wrote:
> But it further strengthens the argument that essentially nobody except
> Simon :-) and the proverbial desperate Perl hacker actually works with XML
> at the pure syntax level.  

Put me firmly in with Simon... it's a perfectly viable way of looking at 
markup, and in ARA, part of the point is to show the equivalence between 
syntax and higher-level strcutures.

> That makes me even more suspicious of the
> argument that XML's power comes purely from the syntax and not the
> Infoset(s).  And yes, the problem is the plural here.

I would assert that the infoset is far less significant than the standard 
API's. You might say they're equivalent in the case of SAX, but that's 
suspect: SAX is an API which exposes a particular view of an XML document, 
and one that corresponds closely to both the infoset and the overall syntax. 
The fact that there is *an* API makes it easier for programmers to deal with, 
even though, in many cases, there is impedance between SAX and what the 
application programmer wants (which is what Bosworth, and all the bean 
serialization packages are on about). The impedance is between the "infoset" 
as exposed by SAX, and the application data structures.

An alternate way of looking at this is to say, directly, that the syntax is an 
encoding of the data in my application, and instead of going

  XML -> infoset -> application

you go

  XML -> application

> Can the XML world agree on one and only one conception of the Infoset?
> Interesting question.  Probably "no" if everybody gets a vote and a veto.
> Probabably "yes" in the sense that once one takes root and the dust
> settles, the benefits of standardization will outweigh the costs of losing
> things like one's preferred view of where the namespace information is
> attached to the Infoset.

I think that the infoset is largely irrelevant to most real-world 
applications, and insufficient for syntax-centric applications.


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