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   Re: [xml-dev] Re: Where does the "nothing left but toolkits" mythcome fr

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Robin Berjon wrote:

> I would be fine with that if that's what those people wanted, but it's 
> not. Besides, believing that the wireless and PC industries are in 
> separate walled gardens is quite frankly naïve and optimistic. Any Web 
> format simply needs to work the same way on both. Those two worlds are 
> really one, and in fact the more they are united the more interesting 
> they both are. A single way of interchanging documents and data is what 
> those people want.

and two paragaphs later...

> See? FUD again. Where are the arguments? Who's trying to fit all needs? 
> Who's working on a one-true über format?

So first you tell me that people want a single way of interchanging data 
and documents, and in the same message you tell me no one's working on 
an uber-format. See why maybe I'm a little confused here?

If we accept your proposition that regular XML is inappropriate for 
wireless devices (I'm not fully convinced of that, but it's plausible) 
then the only way to get the single way to interchange data and 
documents is to adjust what we send and accept in the desktop and the 
server space where plain-vanilla XML already works just fine, and in 
fact works better in many ways for many use cases than any opaque binary 
format ever could.

Unless the wireless folks explicitly reject the mantra that there will 
be a single way of interchanging data and documents, then I will 
continue to maintain that their efforts are actively harmful to XML 
because what they want is not to the benefit of most current XML users.

Also, worth noting: I do not accept arguments based on:

1. The limited bandwidth of wireless devices (wireless bandwidth is 
growing very quickly right now, and there will be much more of it, much 
more broadly available by the time any of this work is done.)

2. The relative number of wireless devices to PCs and servers. They're 
not doing the same tasks, and they are not equally important. Until a 
small wireless device is a suitable replacement for a PC for many users, 
this won't be true. (I do expect that to eventually happen; just not 
within the lifetime of the specs proposed; and by the time it does come 
to pass, wireless devices will have enough CPU, memory, and bandwidth to 
process XML without trouble.

I don't find all your concerns to be equally specious, by the way. The 
issues of battery life are interesting and seem relevant; but to the 
extent this is an issue, it is an argument for using a different, 
non-XML, less power intensive format for wireless devices; not for 
warping XML to fit the very specific needs of wireless devices.

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


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