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   Re: [xml-dev] Sun's senior IT architect Victoria Livschitz about XML

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On Feb 14, 2004, at 6:07 AM, Dare Obasanjo wrote:

>  Maybe this is just Sun's way of justifying pushing replacing the XML  
> in XML Web Services with ASN.1

A somewhat fairer characterization :-)  would be that they're  
suggesting a more rigorous ASN.1 formalization  of the XML Infoset that  
SOAP defines, thus allowing (allegedly) more efficient ASN.1  
serializations.  I do agree that this would be consistent with her  
apparent theme that XML has focused lots of smart people on the boring  
political problems of standardizing syntax rather than the interesting  
problems of advanced processing.

I don't agree with Livschitz, if this is her point.  I liked the  
interview with Jaron Lanier that is referenced in that article  
http://java.sun.com/features/2003/01/lanier_qa1.html : "the real  
difference between the current idea of software, which is protocol  
adherence, and the idea I'm discussing, pattern recognition, has to do  
with the kinds of errors we're creating. We need a system in which  
errors are more often proportional to the source of the error."   To  
me, the value of XML comes more from its ability to support pattern  
recognition than from its ability to rigorously define protocols or  
serialize strongly typed objects or database records.  To lament the  
attention that XML has apparently diverted from nice abstract technical  
challenges to messy problems of information representation is to miss  
the whole point that XML's value proposition comes from its ability to  
bridge these two worlds.

Hmm, Sean has just posted a couple things on this very subject of  
formalism vs grokkability:


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