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Elliotte Rusty Harold wrote:
> At 3:25 PM -0500 11/8/03, Liam Quin wrote:
>> If you choose to pass the string "007" then any interchange
>> encoding worth its salt will transmit "007".
> Yes, but many people are proposing encodings that aren't worth their salt.
Who? If you think that BER and PER won't pass the string "007" as "007"
without dropping the zeroes - then you don't know what you're talking about.
>> It's interesting that there was similar opposition to MIME,
>> since all email was text, and yet MIME is part of what
>> enabled the World Wide Web, and is what lets people send
>> each other email attachments such as viruses :-)
> MIME, and similar tricks in XML, are a way of encoding byte streams into
> text, but it's still the text that's transmitted.
Wrong! Read the MIME RFCs to find out why. One part of MIME is stuff
relating to wrapping data for interchange over textual channels - base64
and quoted-printable and so on - but that's just a layer at the bottom
of MIME. MIME is about labelling things with types...
> If you want to look at other layers for different local purposes, fine.
> However, I maintain that it's only the syntactic, textual layer that's
> interoperable and interchangeable.
If you've not seen any of the many non-textual non-syntactic systems
that interoperate and interchange, then you've clearly not studied this
Take, for example, TCP/IP. Definitely non-textual. Yet surprisingly
interoperable. Ever heard of the "Internet"? The contents of an IP
packet are indeed defined concretely in terms of a syntax of octets, but
the layer underneath is - shock horror - an abstract representation!
Different links between routers on the Internet might use PPP, Ethernet
(in any of its various forms), HIPPI, ATM, you name it to represent
those IP packets as physical signals to send. Yet it somehow manages to
work quite well, doesn't it?
> When measuring please make sure you measure what counts
> (interoperability and ease of development) and not just what happens to
> be easy to measure (size and speed). Just because something's harder to
> quantify doesn't mean it's unimportant or less important. I claim
> interoperability is more important than size and speed.
Yep; it's just a shame you don't seem to know any way of making things
interoperable other than writing it in XML, despite the immense number
of counter-examples lying around.