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   Re: [xml-dev] Pushing all the buttons

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Mike Champion wrote:

> Is anyone disagreeing with that assertion?  I hear it
> from a lot of apparently independent sources. 
> Presumably we'll see data at the "Binary Infoset
> Serialization" workshop next week.

I'm not, but that's mainly because of who's saying it (a good guy). 
And I doubt Dennis was fudging his numbers. I guess the question is 
not whether the claim of faster is true, but it's relative 
importance. I like what Martin Fowler has to say about performance 
in middleware, that we worry about in large part because we /can/ 
measure and fix it.

> "Oppers" == "operations staff trying to debug the
> bloody thing" ??? :-)

Yep, I think it's jargon unique to Dublin :)

> This (and Simon's point about tools) raises a very
> interesting question: is the more-or-less-indisputable
> fact that one can get an XML distributed app up and
> running much faster than a proprietary-format
> distributed app due to the standards-ness of XML or
> the text-ness of XML?  

I think (clear) textness first, easy delimiters second, unicodeness 
third. Standardness of course, but those other three first. If we 
could share one and only codec, perhaps things would be different; 
but clearly as an industry we're not able to do that.

>If you took away the text-ness
> but put an alternate standard (or two, or some very
> small number of standards) in its place, how much of
> this implementation efficiency would you lose?  How
> much time do "oppers" really spend debugging XML
> streams, and would their productivity suffer if they
> had to use some little tool rather than Notepad do so?
>  [Not a rhetorical question ... I really don't have an
> opinion on this].

You could say its a many eyes thing - oppers becomes the whole 
organisation. You're getting better bug reports for starters, which 
is everyone's interest.

Garbage in is easily detected. One the more intimidating things 
about working with XML is that everybody can read it and you can't 
waffle your way out of problems half as easily :) I've had business 
owners point out problems with data in XML because they were 
standing behind me and noticed something. I have never seen a 
business owner do that with binary formats even with said (not so 
little) viewing tools, and that includes rdbmses. I have a business 
user who is happy (nay, wants) to have the raw XML emailed, until 
will build out reporting during a future iteration. XML is a 
'visually tactile' technology, which I think is important.

> Of course, the big downside for all alternative
> serializations is that they seriously limit 
> interoperability.  But remember that the whole POINT
> of this "efficient alternate serialization of the
> Infoset" stuff is to buy performance at the cost of
> some interoperability, to be used in specifically in
> situations where the pain of worse performance is
> worse than the pain of lower interoperability. And the
> whole point of standardizing a small number of
> alternative serializations would be to get some of
> that interoperability back.

I not sure that's the point. I think the point to a large degree is 
to be able to say you're more perfomant, because it's something 
we've decided is important.

Bill de hÓra


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