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   RE: [xml-dev] ASN.1 is an XML Schema Language (Fix those lists!)and Bina

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That sounds good and is technically correct but experience 
says that any encoding for an application type that has 
x percentage of the market will have to be handled by 
any implementation for that type.  It opens portals to hell. 
Prudence and possibly resources argue that even where 
there can be multiple encodings for an application type, 
there will be at best one or two and that these will have 
reasons for being that have nothing to do with expressiveness, 
but possibly legacy or efficiency considerations. 

X3D is a working example.  There are three encodings:

1. Classic VRML - the curly encoding.  Tight and fast 
and a legacy of the original VRML design inherited from 
Silicon Graphics.  Well loved and will never be pried 
from the hands of those that use it because it really 
is the best encoding from a comp-sci point of view 
and from an eyeball point of view.  PFE counts braces.

2. XML - the pointy encoding.  Not tight or fast but 
very popular and comes with a toolkit that lots of 
people have, mainly a trivial parser because XML 
editors are not very applicable to graphics.  Support 
for XML was very contentious but turned out to be 
very cheap and convenient, so why not.

3. Binary - currently only an RFP.  Necessary because 
the 'terseness is of minimal importance' rule doesn't 
apply to real time 3D graphics in very large distributed 
simulations.  GZIP, by the way, is a given for VRML and 
has been since 2.0, so this isn't that.  We already do that.
No brainer.

An X3D browser ultimately ends up supporting all three 
of these and GZIP.  Don't shock the monkey.  Yet more encodings 
have costs so communities of interest should beware arguments 
that come down to lossless transcoding.  I don't accept that 
syntax is fundamental, but I don't kiss off cheap 
and convenient without regard.  Fewer encodings is better.

Systems interoperate. Data is portable.


From: tpassin@comcast.net [mailto:tpassin@comcast.net]

So if the default were xml, we would get full interop the same as we do now.
No need for a parser to have to decode all those other encodings.


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