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   Reusing, Refactoring, Reinventing??? (was Re: [xml-dev] SAX for Binary E

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I'll preface by saying that I'm pretty much on the fence on the substantive question here ... I like the idea of making it easy to use "XML" Infoset tools such as SAX (?), DOM, XPath, XSLT, XQuery, etc. with data in non-XML syntaxes if they can be cleanly mapped to the appropriate data model, but I don't like the idea of bringing type systems more deeply into the core XML specs/APIs/data models.

On Nov 9, 2003, at 8:53 AM, Elliotte Rusty Harold wrote:

. I am arguing against a harmful effort to force XML and SAX to accept binary data. If people find a need for Binary Data Language (BDL) and Streaming/Simple API for Data (SAD), please feel free to invent. Of course, it would only be sensible to learn from the experience of SAX when creating this.

I thought the suggestion on the table was to standardize EXTENSIONS to SAX to allow binary and/or typed data. It sounds like textbook software engineering to me -- re-use what is common, add specialized extensions for what is not common. Learning from SAX while forking / reinventing it seems to do what everybody laments about the state of the software industry -- too many wheels being reinvented, too little code being reused, resulting in proprietary lock-in, unreliability of relatively untested code, etc.

But please don't corrupt SAX or XML in the process. You've got a new data format here that is not XML, and there's no reason you have to bloat XML APIs with support for this new format.

I haven't read/remembered every bit of this thread, but I thought the "bloat" would be a couple of generic extension interfaces that would be implemented (or not) depending on the needs of a specific parser. That doesn't sound like "corruption" to me.

I also ask that the designers not call their new format or APIs anything that reminds people of XML. That is, don't use the names SAX, XML, DOM, Xerces, etc. This merely confuses developers. Let the formats, APIs, etc. stand or fall on their own merits without trying to bask in the XML glory.

I hvae to disagree with this sentiment. First, I doubt very much if ordinary developers give a rat's patootie about the subtle distinctions here, and they are so UTTERLY confused about the various "XML" specs and APIs already that this is just a very small drop in an immense bucket. Second, what's the difference between "learning from XML" and "basking in XML's glory"? Why shouldn't anyone re-use every bit of the XML corpus that works for their needs rather than introduce possible sources of error?

Finally, the rhetoric on this list (especially this thread, but obviously the Avalon/Indigo threads too) is getting a bit overheated, to the detriment of clear communication. We all could profit [me too! I'm one of the sinners, feel free to rub my nose in it] by reading Orwell's "Politics and the English Language" http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/orwell46.htm every now and then. I think this quote succinctly summarizes his point: "If you simplify your English, you are freed from the worst follies of orthodoxy ... when you make a stupid remark its stupidity will be obvious, even to yourself. "

[I was thinking particularly of the following "bad example" Orwell quotes:

'All the "best people" from the gentlemen's clubs, and all the frantic fascist captains, united in common hatred of Socialism and bestial horror at the rising tide of the mass revolutionary movement, have turned to acts of provocation, to foul incendiarism, to medieval legends of poisoned wells, to legalize their own destruction of proletarian organizations, and rouse the agitated petty-bourgeoise to chauvinistic fervor on behalf of the fight against the revolutionary way out of the crisis.'

Here's an xml-devish version:

'All the thralls of Microsoft, and all the frantic patent holders, united in common hatred of XML's openness and bestial horror at the rising tide of the open source movement, have turned to acts of pollution, to foul corruption, to archaic legends about software development practice, to legalize their own destruction of the textual basis of XML, and rouse the confused application developers to chauvinistic fervor on behalf of the fight against the standard XML way out of the crisis.'



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