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   Re: [xml-dev] XML Binary Characterization WG public list availabl e

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On Sat, 2004-04-10 at 01:32, Elliotte Rusty Harold wrote:
> At 10:17 AM -0400 4/9/04, Michael Champion wrote:
> >Pandora's box was opened in 1997.  XML 1.0 is optimized for SGML 
> >compatibility, and that turns out to be a decent compromise between 
> >human readability and machine processability for a lot of common use 
> >cases. All sorts of other use cases might be optimized: Wiki-like 
> >markup languages are optimized for human editability; there are XML 
> >serializations that are optimized to save space, (see 
> >http://xml.coverpages.org/xmlAndCompression.html) and there are XML 
> >serializations that are optimized to be quickly parseable (e.g. 
> >http://www.ximpleware.com/).  XML has reached a point in it's 
> >evolution where people with some of these use cases are wondering 
> >whether XML's non-optimality for one thing or another outweighs the 
> >very real benefits, and are trying to figure out how to refactor 
> >things to get most of XML's benefits with fewer of its costs.
> The problem with optimizing for such situations is that the result 
> tends to be less optimal for others. It's like trying to push out a 
> bubble in wall-to-wall carpet. Can't be done without cutting the rug. 
> Push it down one place, it pops up again somewhere else.
> XML is very nice compromise between the needs of many different 
> systems. It's very compromise nature makes it wonderful for moving 
> data between heterogeneous systems. Optimizing XML for particular 
> environments and uses such as routers, wireless devices, numeric 
> data, remote procedure calls, record-like documents, etc. will make 
> it far harder to exchange data with dissimilar devices and use-cases, 
> even if it accomplishes some small gains in a limited, homogeneous 
> environment.
> There are some use cases where XML is just not appropriate. I've been 
> saying for years that's it's not suitable for what I call images 
> scanned from nature: digital photographs, sampled audio, recorded 
> video, and the like. It likewise may not be suitable for the smallest 
> of devices. I wouldn't try to stuff it into  a hotel doorlock using a 
> 4-bit processor, for example. 

reckon it could work well there, so long as the 4 bit processor isn't
trying to run linux, unix, or windows at the same time.

we used to rule the world with a 4004


> However, for what it does work for, it 
> works very well; and trying to make it work better for some of the 
> current use cases, or for new use cases, at the expense of existing 
> use cases and interoperability does not seem wise.


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