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   Re: [xml-dev] Re: If XML is too hard for a programmer, perhaps he 'd be

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> Bill de hÓra Wrote:
> >And I don't understand this disdain for regular expressions over 
> >XML. Regexes are a perfectly useful tool for manipulating text.
> Certainly "If all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail."
> applies here. (No distain, I own more than one hammer)
> Yes, XML can be serialized into a string.  That feature makes it portable. 
> But to manipulate it as a string makes it impossible to take advantage of
> properties the XML had to begin with.
> There are two worlds. The world of the "value space" and that of the
> "lexical space".  If you use a lexical space tool you run the risk of making
> a new lexical representation for which there is NO value space equivalent.
> In other words, could you make an error with a regEx tool and end up with
> invalid XML?  Yes easily, and probably often.
> If you use tools that manipulate in the "value space", then obtain the
> lexical representation that risk goes away.

Bingo.  Thus my 'impedance mismatch" and "error prone" comments.  Believe me, 
in my travels I've seen a lot of ersatz XML processing.  I've always been able 
to convince clients to chuck it, usuallya fter I demonstrate that there are 
ways to process XML just as easily as they think their hacks allow.  So my 
incredulous reaction was not because I haven't heard this claim of "regex 
first", but because it seems amazing to me that this would come from Tim.


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