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   Re: [xml-dev] Partyin' like it's 1999

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Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:

> Most commenters I've read believe an overhaul 
> is needed.  You should read Derek Denny-Brown's 
> blog.  Dare referenced it and sys-con picked it 
> up for an article.
> http://nothing-more.blogspot.com/2004/10/where-xml-goes-astray.html

This article is absolute crap, and a typical example of Microsoft think. 
It blames XML for the very problems Microsoft created and which don't 
exist in other tools and on other platforms.

It's really scary to see that someone who's apparently been in charge of 
Microsoft's XML efforts for seven years still doesn't get the difference 
between children and child elements, and hasn't noticed there's a reason 
that DOM has getChildNodes() and getElementsByTagName().

If Microsoft-platform developers are confused about the significance of 
white space, it's because Microsoft deliberately deviated from the 
specifications when writing their implementations, not because there's 
anything fundamentally confusing about white space.

As to the issue of allowed characters, all I can say Microsoft 
developers must not be as smart as I thought. Xerces checks this in 
O(log N). XOM manages it in O(1).

The one thing that's mildly interesting in his article is the claim that 
the Unicode 2.0 character repertoire has caused real problems for some 
Asian Microsoft customers. I've heard this claim before, but I've never 
been able to verify it. If he's got real data, I'd like to see it. Which 
missing characters were needed? And were they really needed in markup 
and not text? (This is a very common source of confusion.)

But aside from that, this article is a collection of drivel. If I were 
more conspiracy minded, I would say this is a deliberate effort to 
spread Microsoft FUD, to make developers nervous about XML so they 
choose proprietary, Microsoft formats instead. But one should never 
attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence, so being less 
conspiracy, minded I will accuse Derek Denny-Brown of being an 
incompetent, a developer who hasn't understood XML for seven years and 
isn't likely to start now, and one who should never have been allowed or 
in the future be allowed to design XML APIs or tools.

Elliotte Rusty Harold  elharo@metalab.unc.edu
XML in a Nutshell 3rd Edition Just Published!


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