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   Re: [xml-dev] xml 2.0 - so it's on the way after all?

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David Lyon wrote:
> Liam,
> I was reading this article...
> http://www.advogato.org/article/820.html
> so everything is looking good for an xml 2.0... with datatyping
> and other good stuff...

"So I'm with Jim Gettys here, let's drain the swamp. XML might not be 
perfect for this, but it's better than today's nonsensical mess."

With regard to Liam's observation on configuration above. The Java world 
has made heavy use of XML configuration and represents to my knowledge 
the best available data point for any effort in that direction.

Although using XML is a handy way to get configuration /into/ Java 
systems (once you bind to a tool like Digester or XStream), it's not 
clear how beneficial that has been in draining swamps with regard to the 
formats themselves. There are a *lot* of XML config formats out there. 
In a Java project, dealing with a dozen different formats is typical. 
Maintaining systems using scads of XML deployment descriptors and config 
files is a pita, especially in a cluster. The current situation is known 
to be a mess - it's not at all clear that XML is helping.

XML alone arguably offers too much flexibility for a configuration 
language; what's needed are further constraints in the way Ant 
constrains task coordination or RDF constrains relationships.  Do check 
out smartfrog [1] for an alternative approach to this problem (btw, one 
of the people involved in smartfrog, Steve Loughran, is also a committer 
  to Ant).

Utter Speculation: I think one of the issues people have reading markup 
for configuration is that XML structure drowns out the information, 
unless you go for heavily attribute driven markup, which XML people tend 
to frown on. XML seems to be clearer when things are the size of 
paragraphs rather than sentences. Given XML's roots maybe that's not 
altogether surprising.


[1] http://www.smartfrog.org/


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