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   Re: [xml-dev] Microsoft FUD on binary XML...

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On Nov 18, 2003, at 6:32 PM, Joshua Allen wrote:

> - people gripe
> about parse speed of XML as if it will be faster when it's binary, and 
> I
> think this is incorrect from two perspectives -- first is that we have
> shown XML-oriented protocols to be faster than binary in many cases, 
> and
> second because there is still tons of room for improvement in text
> parsing speeds (the fact that gen 1 of XML parsers is slow simply 
> proves
> that they are gen 1 parsers, not that text is inherently slower than
> binary).
Hmm.  At the binary  XML workshop [yeah, yeah, "binary serialization of 
the XML Infoset"] , lots of people were talking about XML being 10x 
slower than comparable binary technologies.  (Mind you, I personally 
think this is a very reasonable price to pay  in most circumstances, 
but I would like to get the facts straight).

Can you point to anything public that shows that XML-oriented protocols 
to be faster than binary?  Again I agree that XML parsing is seldom a 
bottleneck, so XML *applications* are often just as fast as binary 
ones, but I'm not so sure about "protocols."

On the "gen 1-ness" of XML parsers, that was a very good point I 
learned about at the workshop. On the other hand, many of the 
optimizations to produce significant speedups depend on a shared 
schema.  I have a philosophical question:  If an XML distributed 
application depends on a shared schema, in what sense is it more 
loosely coupled than an ASN.1 application?  [One answer could be that 
the XML parsing can always revert to the parsing of well-formed XML 
into an infoset if schemas don't match, whereas ASN.1 is more fragile 
... I don't know if that really works in practice].

I for one don't think that MS is producing "FUD" on binary XML; they 
just tend to see XML as *only* an interchange format between databases, 
objects and applications rather than something that would be natively 
stored, processed, displayed, etc. in an application-neutral or 
schema-neutral manner.  I suspect the party line will change when WinFS 
and Yukon / XQuery mature <duck> and they don't need to be so dependent 
on specific schemas.


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