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- To: 'Michael Champion' <email@example.com>, 'XML DEV' <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: RE: [xml-dev] Validation vs performance - was Re: [xml-dev] Fast text output from SAX?
- From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <email@example.com>
- Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2004 09:46:55 -0500
I don't buy it. I buy that people are creating alternative
syntaxes, alternative applications (eg, RELAX NG which may
or may not have an 'unstoppable momentum' but has yet to
show up in an RFP so not in prime time yet). I don't buy
that these are easier to learn or read once one is comfortable
with XML. To me the ease of any one feature or the complexity of
any one language is quickly overcome by the network effect of
instances and tools shared widely.
Is a binary characterization group a mandate to open up a
full up replacement or large scale revision of XML? I doubt
it. Syntax is NOT trivial.
We've had simpler syntaxes before. We've had binaries before.
We've never had integration at this scale. We have to be very
conservative what of the various experiments in the wild are
adopted into the standards of a working system.
From: Michael Champion [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, April 19, 2004 9:25 AM
To: 'XML DEV'
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Validation vs performance - was Re: [xml-dev]
Fast text output from SAX?
On Apr 19, 2004, at 9:59 AM, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:
> Syntax is NOT trivial. While one can always make a
> computer-science case for a simpler syntax than XML,
> and one can make a case for alternative schema languages,
> one faces a hard sale for moving away from an established
> syntax because syntax is a human user interface acquired
> by habit. Once acquired, it becomes easy to use
Hmm, it's not just computer science that is pressing for simpler
syntaxes. The people experimenting with workarounds to XML's syntax
limitations are doing so because it is either NOT easy to use (e.g. for
human authoring of markup-intensive documents such as stylesheets),
difficult to get the details right (e.g. the RSS-like feeds that can't
seem to get character escaping right, forget to declare HTML entities,
etc.), or find that their customers rebel against the processing
overhead of XML syntax compared to what they are used to. It also
appears that the official W3C schema language never becomes easy to
use, and XML projects are increasingly voting with their feet for RELAX
NG (see http://seanmcgrath.blogspot.com today ).
So, syntax is neither trivial to invent or learn, and there is a
constant tension between the needs of the inventors and the users.
"Reinventing the wheel" is fine IMHO if it helps find the usability
problems in the XML standards or new use cases for unrelated standards,
and as long as the underlying base syntax for interchange evolves
slowly and in an orderly manner so that a common denominator is
available when needed.