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   RE: [xml-dev] XUL Compact Syntax Study Now Online - Is XML too ha rd for

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Somewhere back in the different threads was a statement that 
'syntax is trivial'.  It isn't.  I don't think the world is 
a better place if everything is expressed in XML syntax, but 
bitter experience has shown that in systems where bits on 
the wire is all that one can measure across the federated 
system for interop, syntax is the one unifying approach that 
worked.  COM didn't scale.  Futile attempts at semantic 
unification failed.  At the bottom of the stack, unloved and 
barely noticed were data objects and markup.  They scale. 
Having gotten that level of agreement on a single syntax 
has been extremely valuable, so perhaps I do believe it 
to the extent that it provides a commonality of approach 
we've not had before in global systems.

It is ok to tailor to that audience as long as the relationships 
are all inward facing, but where there are ecotones and interfaces, 
it's a supremely bad idea.

Data objects in the X, operations in the Y and users in the Z. 
Change the values for syntax and look at what is actually being 
shared.  It isn't the compact syntaxes or the binaries.  They lost. 
They'll lose again.

It isn't that XML can't be improved; I doubt it can be replaced, 
at least, not for technical reasons.


From: Bob Foster [mailto:bob@objfac.com]

Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:
 > Syntax is not trivial.

You seem to be saying that the world would be a better place if 
everything were expressed in XML syntax, because we've all learned it. I 
don't think so. I would be surprised if you thought so.

If on the other hand, you mean that because notation is important as a 
vehicle for thought syntax should be tailored to be appropriate to the 
application and the intended audience, then I would heartily agree. 
Syntax is not trivial.

Bob Foster


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