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

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  • To: "Didier PH Martin" <martind@netfolder.com>, "Michael Champion" <mc@xegesis.org>, <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
  • Subject: RE: [xml-dev] Microsoft Hypes Up XUL As The Greatest Expiriment S ince Adam And Eve
  • From: "Hunsberger, Peter" <Peter.Hunsberger@stjude.org>
  • Date: Wed, 29 Oct 2003 09:56:10 -0600
  • Thread-index: AcOeMUu7KUrlqPE+Qh+D9HLggCfkXgAAKgOA
  • Thread-topic: [xml-dev] Microsoft Hypes Up XUL As The Greatest Expiriment S ince Adam And Eve

Didier PH Martin <martind@netfolder.com> writes:

> 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 
> interoperability.
> 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
> :-)

Something that has been only slightly alluded to in this (and many
other) "why use XML" discussions is the leverage the tool set brings
you.  If the there is one blessing that the adoption of XML has brought
to the IT industry it is the institutionalization of best practices for
parsing, tree building and traversal and other common CS algorithms. OO
reuse is much easier when you have syntactic reuse.  So maybe we're not
getting semantic reuse in this case, but for what really costs --
development time -- MS (and others) are still getting a benefit...


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