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   RE: [xml-dev] Microsoft Hypes Up XUL As The Greatest Expiriment S ince A

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Hi Michael

Michael said:
Isn't the whole point of XML 
portability (or interoperability) across platforms, at the price of 
"bloated" data and "inefficient" performance?  That's usually a good 
tradeoff, but not if you stay in a proprietary box.

Didier replies:
I understand your point. May I add that it is potentially that but it
depends if these target platforms support the same model. As we all know:
XML is only syntax (and a confused document model). It just offers you the
guaranty that the language created with it is encoded in a "standard" way.
The problem is often not with the XML syntax per se, it is most of the time
with the model it represents. When the same XML based domain language is
used to encode different models, we have in fact, two different languages.
If I say: the bicycle flies from Denver to Dunkerque I could mean that a
flying bicycle flew from Denver to dunkerke or that the bicycle was in an
airplane from Denver to Dunkerque. My interpretation will depend on my
mental model, Idem for computer languages. When meaning is different, even
with the same language are we talking about the same language? After all,
when, even speaking the "same language", we don't, understand each other
don't we say "we don't, speak the same language". A chemist for a new Yorker
is not identical to a Londoner chemist. They speak the same language except
for this word. When the number of different meaning for the same syntax is
too important, we are facing two different languages having the same
appearance. Language is related to meaning. What XML brought is simply a
common alphabet not shared models, we still live in the Babel tour, we just
get a common alphabet and the appearance of portability and

What Microsoft is simply pursuing its "embrace and expand strategy". One
thing I learned about this company and its leader, it's incredibly
tenacious. The web doesn't help them keep the cash cows (i.e. us) in the
enclosure. Also, they are surfing on the fact that the web created a certain
number of developers accustomed to markup languages; they are simply
leveraging their knowledge. Finally, by repackaging the old with new
clothes, you have a cheap way to offer developers something to fight boredom

Didier PH Martin


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