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Michael Champion wrote:
> - There is a school of thought that a binary format would fit into
> "real" XML quite cleanly as a specialized encoding. I don't know
> enough about the deeper philosophy of the XML spec to know if this is
> a shameless exploitation of an ambiguity or a clever hack to do
> something unanticipated but well within the spirit of the thing. I
> personally don't see how a document
> <?xml version="1.0" encoding="Shift-JIS"?>
> [binary gibberish I have no software to process but others do]
> is qualitatively less correct or interoperable than
> <?xml version="1.0" encoding="W3CBinaryXML"?>
> [binary gibberish I have no software to process but others will]
What's the point of an XML prolog there? Surely just use a BOM and be
done with it.
It's not a deep philosophical issue with the XML spec; it's purely
social and falls with the idea of polluting the well. XML is a text
format and has maximal value as a text format.
> - Binary serializations of the XML infoset have already been created
> that are are capable of pretty decent compression or parsing
> performance. See the citations in the XML 2004 papers that are
> online. There are plenty of academic and quasi-academic papers on
> this. The interesting question is whether any can get sufficiently
> better compression AND performance (and a bunch of other attributes)
> than XML text to make it worthwhile for a wide range of uses. The
> Binary XML Characterization WG is defining the criteria by which this
> might be determined.
How they compare to ASN.1 is probably more pertinent.
> - "Binary XML" is happening, whether that is an oxymoron it or not.
That's fine. The point is acknowledging that it is an oxymoron, instead
of indulging the bizarre word games around binary XML that we see here
every 3 months. In years of discussion on this topic, I have to see
anything that tells me 'binary XML' is not spin.
> - The really contentious issue is whether one or more of these formats
> should be standardized, and who should do the standardization (e.g.
> W3C or the wireless industry). Alternatively, they might be best
> hidden within implementations of the existing standards, with XML 1.0
> the norm when interoperability is needed, but all sorts of things will
> be on the wire in more tightly coupled environments.
That's no contentious - calling binary formats after a text format is
contentious. What's the motivation there?
> - Another point of contention is whether a binary XML encoding would
> undermine or enhance XML's interoperability and ubiquity. Elliotte,
> Uche, and others have vociferously made the "actively damaging to XML"
> argument; the other side argues that XML is *not* ubiquitous in the
> (rapidly growing) wireless domain and will not be until the efficiency
> problem is addressed. The wireless industry wants a W3C standard so
> that there is a single wireless Web rather than one fragmented across
> vendors and sites that support one or another.
How is calling a single binary format that is not XML, "XML", going to
help create that single binary format?