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People think it is an error to decouple the terms element, attribute and children from the XML 1.0 syntax (i.e. UnicodeWithangleBrackets). This decoupling allows people like me to repurpose XML technologies to provide services like XQuery over relational data or XPath over object graphs. The XML infoset is just a state of mind but UnicodeWithAngleBrackets is a concrete syntax.
However once this decoupling occurs people like me decide that the concrete syntax is mostly irrelevant until interop is needed and focus on the infoset. The arguments on XML-DEV center around the importance of the concrete syntax versus abstractions based on the concrete syntax. I believe it is obvious on which side I lie.
From: Jonathan Robie [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thu 2/27/2003 9:04 AM
To: Mike Champion; email@example.com
Subject: [xml-dev] Unicode With Angle Brackets
At 10:32 AM 2/27/2003 -0500, Mike Champion wrote:
>- "XML" is more than just UnicodeWithAngleBrackets
I must confess I get lost in these discussions, but these terms don't seem
like the right ones. Does anybody really believe that XML is just
UnicodeWithAngleBrackets, or is that hyperbole? For instance, does anyone
really think it is an error for us to discuss an XML document using terms
from the XML 1.0 specification such as elements, attributes, children, etc?
These really do seem to strongly imply an interpretation of those
characters into structures that can form a hierarchy.
Here's a view that I might call the "Only Structure" view: XML, like any
language, has a surface syntax and associated semantics. "Unicode With
Angle Brackets" describes the surface syntax, and the BNF in the XML
Recommendation tells how to parse this syntax and what structures it
expresses. The labelled structures expressed by an XML document are the
semantics of the document.
Are there many people who feel the "Only Structure" view is an abuse of XML?
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