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   Re: [xml-dev] XML Binary and Compression

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Alessandro Triglia scripsit:

> If I devise an XML-aware compression algorithm, some "loss" of literal
> contents will usually be acceptable:  kind and length of whitespace
> inside tags; kind of quotes around attribute values; use of numeric
> character references; use of empty-element tags vs. start-tag/end-tag
> pairs with nothing in between; and so on.  This list can grow
> considerably.  By exploiting its knowledge of XML *and* by regarding
> such syntactic "information" as unessential, an XML-aware compression
> algorithm can achieve better performance than a generic compression
> algorithm.  

These all sound reasonable, but experience shows that nothing will
establish their usefulness except widespread testing over lots of different
kinds of loads.  For example, if one consistently uses a numeric character
reference, it may well be compressed just as tightly as the corresponding
UTF-8 character or conceivably better.

So if you believe this, implement, release your implementation as Open Source,
and let the games begin.

John Cowan   <jcowan@reutershealth.com>   http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
"One time I called in to the central system and started working on a big
thick 'sed' and 'awk' heavy duty data bashing script.  One of the geologists
came by, looked over my shoulder and said 'Oh, that happens to me too.
Try hanging up and phoning in again.'"  --Beverly Erlebacher


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