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   Re: [xml-dev] The "what is XML" permathread revisited -- was Re:[xml-dev

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+1  (And +3 if I may.)


Michael Champion wrote:

> On Apr 12, 2004, at 7:58 AM, Elliotte Rusty Harold wrote:
>> Different: not OK. If it's not a text format fully compatible with 
>> the XML specification, then it's not XML, and please don't use the 
>> word "XML" (or preferably the initial letter X) to describe it. XML 
>> is text. XML is syntax. XML is not the infoset. The infoset is 
>> derived from XML, not the other way around. SAX and DOM are are APIs 
>> for processing XML. XML is not a serialization format for SAX and 
>> DOM. Alternate representations of the Infoset are not XML. Alternate 
>> formats that expose a SAX or DOM API are not XML.
> That is a sensible position (and obviously shared by one of the 
> editors of the XML 1.0 spec), but it is not Revealed Truth.  I, for 
> example,  think of "XML" as the whole bloody mess -- syntax, data 
> models, APIs, query languages, whatnot.  I agree that adding 
> additional qualifiers is the best way to be specific in a context that 
> requires a distinction, e.g. "XML 1.x syntax" or "XQuery data model."  
> I realize that some people are quite firmly of the opinion that "XML" 
> means "XML 1.x syntax", and that "binary XML" is an oxymoron.  But 
> XQuery (explicitly) and DOM, XPath, etc.(implicitly) do not depend on 
> inputs in XML syntax.
> A religious debate over the true meaning of "XML" seems doomed to 
> cause far more schims within the XML community and confusion in the 
> world outside XML geekdom than any increase in semantic precision 
> would gain anyone.  I'm comfortable saying that XML is sortof a 
> trinity -- "one technology in three persons" : syntax, data model, 
> manipulation language -- but recognize that these are essentially 
> vague and interdependent concepts that will probably never be 
> clarified to anyone's satisfaction. Likewise, there are alternatives 
> on any one axis so long as one doesn't get too far away from the 
> middle on all axes as once.  A bit uncertain, perhaps, but such is life.
> In other words, IMHO "XML" is a fuzzy set, not an Aristotelian 
> category.  Trying to define it or rigidly constrain it --"XML is not a 
> serialization format for SAX and DOM. Alternate representations of the 
> Infoset are not XML. Alternate formats that expose a SAX or DOM API 
> are not XML. " -- is an interesting academic (or mailing list) 
> exercise, but let's not get dogmatic about it ... and leave the 
> flamethrowers at home.
> [Aside, speakiing of a "trinity": The challenge of defining the 
> Trinity apparently keeps certain people occupied fighting the numerous 
> heresies still today.  
> http://apologetics.johndepoe.com/trinityfalse.html  is the top Google 
> hit for "trinity heresies" and contains the fascinating tidbit that 
> those who believe that the Trinity is one Being in three persons are 
> orthodox, but those who believe that it is one person with three ways 
> of working are guilty of the Modalist heresy.   I remember a college 
> history teacher who had a bit of fun tripping up the professed 
> Christians in the class with their inability to distinguish the 
> Revealed Truth from the various historical heresies.  "Sorry, you 
> would have been burned at the stake for holding that opinion."   I 
> wonder if the believers in the Revealed Truth in the class remember 
> that session as clearly as I do 30 years later... I certainly came 
> away with a lifelong non-interest in making rigid distinctions about 
> intrinsically fuzzy concepts]
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swilliams@hpti.com http://www.hpti.com Per: sdw@lig.net http://sdw.st
Stephen D. Williams 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax 20147-4622 AIM: sdw

fn:Stephen Williams


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