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I agree with Elliote to some degree. I'm personally more concerned that this is yet another W3C effort that would involve taking a number of contradictory requirements and design goals then trying to hack them together into some sort of coherrent whole. In the past few years working with W3C XML technologies that fall into this category it is my personal opinion that it is actually more harmful to the software industry to engage in such activities than to let parts of the software industry standardize according to thier needs.
I'm sure many on this list would agree that a world where a technology like XML-Data Reduced was used in situations where developers wanted to create type annotated infosets, RELAX NG was used for XML document validation , etc. would be better for the industry that the current status quo where a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none technology like W3C XML Schema is the primary XML schema language of choice.
Disclaimer: This is my personal opinion and does not necessarily reflect the official position of Microsoft with regards to the aforementioned issues.
From: Elliotte Rusty Harold [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Sun 9/21/2003 4:54 AM
To: Liam Quin; XML Dev
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Pushing all the buttons
At 8:29 PM -0400 9/20/03, Liam Quin wrote:
>As far as I can tell, people *are* using binary representations
>of XML in various ways, for various purposes, already. They aren't
>going to stop just because W3C doesn't tell them how to do it, or
>just because xml-dev doesn't like it :-)
>So the question as I see it becomes, is there a way to specify a
>binary format, or binary interfhange framework of some kind, in
>such a way that a significant majority of the people currently
>using binary formats agree to implement and use it?
You're still assuming in advance of the facts. This is *exactly* what
I was afraid of from the W3C. You're saying if we can do something,
we should do something. The question is not really whether it's
possible. It is clearly possible as many existing binary formats
prove. The question is (or should be) whether it's a good idea. My
belief is that a binary format of the sort you're talking about so
pollutes the XML brand and the XML environment that it is actively
harmful, interoperable or no.
I would much rather have a thousand non-standard, non-interoperable
binary formats without any official status than a single W3C blessed
format. Unofficial binary standards won't be adopted in any large
part, and won't be able to be exchanged and won't be adopted outside
of small groups and single organizations. Their effect on the Web and
the XML community will be minimal. However, a single orthodox binary
representation will replace XML in many more cases leading to a less
interoperability and much less transparency overall.
Elliotte Rusty Harold
Processing XML with Java (Addison-Wesley, 2002)
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