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   Re: [xml-dev] Is there a use for standardized binary XML (was RE:Microso

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Bob Wyman wrote:

>>XML is the one format that is defined as 
>>the "interoperable standard format".
> 	No. XML is not *the* "interoperble standard format." It is
> only one of them.

I've noticed a significant trend in XML fans (mainly off of XML-DEV - 
they're better educated here) that XML is great because it's a generic 
data format - as if this is a new idea. They seem to think that the 
choice is:

1) Define your own format in terms of what bit goes where, like most 
binary protocols in RFCs; they have to choose field widths and 
endiannesses, and if they define a later version of their protocol, they 
have to use previously-unused bits and previously-invalid values to 
extend it in complex ways, that general rely on a single authority 
defining extensions to the protocol so they don't clash, etc.


2) Write an XML DTD and use an off the shelf toolkit

...while apparently not realising that there are toolkits like ONC XDR 
that are probably still more widely available than XML parsers, and 
things like IFF and ASN.1.


"Electronic Arts is a company that deserves credit for helping make life 
easier for both programmers and end users. By establishing Interchange 
Format Files (ie, IFF) and releasing the documentation for such, as well 
as C source code for reading and writing IFF type of files, Electronic 
Arts has helped make it easier for programmers to develop "backward 
compatible" and "extensible" file formats. IFF also helps developers 
write programs that easily read data files created with each others' IFF 
compliant software, even if there is no business relationship between 
the developers. In a nutshell, IFF helps minimize problems such as new 
versions of a particular program having trouble reading data files 
produced by older versions, or needing a new file format everytime a new 
version needs to store additional information. It also encourages 
standardized file formats that aren't tied to a particular product. All 
of this is good for endusers because it means that their valuable data 
isn't locked into some proprietary standard that can't be used with a 
wide variety of hardware and software. Above all else, endusers don't 
want their work to be held hostage by a single, corporate entity over 
whom the enduser has no direct control, but that's exactly what happens 
whenever an enduser saves his data using a program that produces a 
proprietary, unpublished file format. IFF helps to break this needlessly 
proprietary stranglehold that developers have exerted upon endusers' works."

Sound familiar? This road has been trodden before :-)

> 		bob wyman



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