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   Re: [xml-dev] Sorting out what we agree and disagree on (was Re:[xml-dev

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Mike Champion wrote:
> The common strands in the "alternative syntaxes for XML infosets" 
> threads ("binary" is just one particular aspect) seem to be:
> - "XML" is more than just UnicodeWithAngleBrackets, it's a constellation 
> of technologies that are inter-related in a mutually-supporting but 
> formally ambiguous way. XML's success in the real world comes from their 
> synergy, not any one (e.g. the syntax) in isolation.

I'm not 100% certain that I agree with this, but that's because I think that 
your statement could be interpreted in two ways.

I'm pretty much certain that people are drawn to XML in very large part for the 
"XML constellation" (I wonder what it looks like :). I remember the early days 
when I was pitching XML around and people invariably replied "Yeah this sounds 
very cool, but what can I do with it?" The current situation imho justifies that 
people will want to use XML for its global benefits, even if it creates local 
problems. OTOH I do believe that all that goodness originates in 
UnicodeWithAngleBrackets and wouldn't exist if XML 1.0 wasn't that and just 
that. I think we agree, but using ""XML"" here may be slightly confusing.

> These diverse applications developers are 
> facing a diverse set of challenges in dealing with the XML syntax, and 
> are looking for ways to get the benefits of "XML" while relaxing the 
> constraints of XML syntax. Among these challenges -- which are 
> different, and almost certainly have no common solution

I hear that a lot, yet I'm not convinced. I understand the intuition, but that 
doesn't give my "almost certain[t]y". A single solution can be devised to be 
configurable in order to be tunable to various needs, while still remaining 
internally coherent.

> If we've learned anything 
> from the first 5 years of XML, it's that it can't succeed as a "big ball 
> of mud" that pollutes document applications with data-specific concepts 
> or data applications with document-specific concepts.


> - Actual standardization of various alternative serializations is 
> something to discuss and explore at this point, not to move rapidly 
> ahead with.  Much more real performance data, clearer delineation of 
> communities with similar requirements, etc., and experimentation with 
> real alternatives is needed first.

I mostly agree, though I'm not sure of how to make that happen. I liked your 
idea of a common research program  la XQuery. I also think we shouldn't be 
waiting /too/ long because binary infosets are being ratified in open systems 
and there's little fun in coming up with something when, say, millions of cell 
phones have already shipped with something else :) I don't want to have to go up 
against another SWF/Flash.

Robin Berjon <robin.berjon@expway.fr>
Research Engineer, Expway        http://expway.fr/
7FC0 6F5F D864 EFB8 08CE  8E74 58E6 D5DB 4889 2488


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