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You're absolutely correct about the comma having no important meaning. Tags
carry with it the semantics that gives XML its real power. The trade-off, of
course, is greater consumption of resources during transport and parsing.
And when you throw in all sorts of attributes and formatting instructions,
the consumption climbs even more. Hence, the XML backlash. We'd we wise,
IMO, to recognize this trade-off and act accordingly.
There is an elegant solution, which involves using CSV data in novel ways,
but it's a proprietary process and this is not the right venue to discuss
Anyway, if there's any need for axe grinding, it would be to sharpen the
business case depicting when XML or alternatives are best suited to a
particular situation ... a one solution fits all perspective only cuts off
one's nose despite one's face. XML is wonderful technology ... when used for
the right things.
From: Bill Kearney [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, December 06, 2004 5:26 PM
To: Stephen E. Beller; email@example.com
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Data streams
> In consideration of Elliotte's reply, I went back and looked at the XML
> Excel generated. Here's what I found ...
> Every one of the XML data elements had this tagging structure:
> <Cell><Data ss:Type="Number">1</Data></Cell>
> In contrast, the CSV had this structure: 1,
> That's a 50 characters to 1 difference for each data element.
And it's 1 character that says NOTHING. At least with, at a bare minimum, a
<Row> marker and the assumed XML header data (namespace, schemata, etc)
you'd have an idea of where that number fits into some situation.
> So, this benchmark test still points to a huge difference in file size and
> in unzipping and parsing time when you compare a large data array in CSV
> compared to XML.
Only if you use such general purpose markup such as what the XML
import/export function in Excel uses. Your rigged example really doesn't
say much. Here's an alternative perspective, archive that data for 30
years. Come back and try decipherng it if it's a binary or a CSV file.
With all that markup an XML file pretty clearly documents itself. Which one
would be more useful?
Given Excel's use as a general purpose tool it's reasonable to see if making
that sort of data. To refine it any further, especially during this first
iteration of their tool, and amidst considerable market upheaval, would
probably have been a bad idea.
What axe are you looking to grind here? We've got plenty.