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

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Please can the silly ad hominem attacks. They were childish several years ago when I used to read them on Slashdot and they are just as puerile now reading them on XML-DEV. 
1.) XML's treatment of whitespace confuses developers. As Derek says, Microsoft tried to make the behavior more intuitive which has made MSXML vilified by XML pendants which you've just done now proving his point. Several times while working on RSS Bandit I had bugs creep in because I didn't account for whitespace which I felt was logically insignificant but was not by XML 1.0 rules
2.) The limitation in the range of allowed characters in XML is a hassle which the Microsoft XML team sees customers complain about on a weekly basis. 
3.) Namespaces are close to a disaster [but not quite, that dubious honor goes to W3C XML Schema] 
If you don't change your direction, you may end up where you were headed. 


From: Elliotte Harold [mailto:elharo@metalab.unc.edu]
Sent: Wed 10/27/2004 4:11 AM
To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Partyin' like it's 1999

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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