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Re: [xml-dev] XML Performance Improvements through Interdisciplinary Factor Assessment and Application

Title: Re: [xml-dev] XML Performance Improvements through Interdi
Andrew and Don, this is a brilliant research breakthrough. I hope you'll be presenting it at Extreme this year!

I did notice two areas in which you might seek further improvements:

First, drag can be radically reduced by avoiding discontinuities in the cross-sections of successive slices. That is, the contours of the message should not be irregular from front to back. Thus, attending to the contours of the enclosed text would help greatly. For example, instead of

  <p> The World Wide Web Consortium</p>

it would be much more efficient to achieve laminar flow over nearly the entire stream by transmitting:

   <p style="text-decoration: underline overline">The World Wide Web Consortium</p>

Second, recent research in the High-Speed Undersea Weapons Project (see http://www.onr.navy.mil/sci_tech/engineering/333_mechanics/usea_highspeed.asp) shows that at sufficient speeds, a properly-shaped projectile can create a cavitation bubble entirely surrounding itself. Above that critical speed, it is actually travelling in a gaseous space even while submerged in a liquid (cool picture at http://www.supercavitation.com/html/message_board.html). This reduces drag by about 1000x, and was first demonstrated with the Russian VA-111 Shkval torpedo, which operates at more than 230mph.

The optimal shape for supercavitation is a flat, sharp-edged nose. The XML "<" is thus ideal. However, it is clear that supercavitating two-phase flows are not achieved for XML transmissions in practice. It is likely that the reason for this is that the present Internet is incapable of accelerating XML data to the minimum velocity required, about 100mph.

Should this general Internet limitation be overcome, XML documents should naturally begin to supercavitate, making them nearly 1,000 times more efficient than other documents.

Thanks again, Andrew and Don, for opening up a very promising new area of XML research!

Steve DeRose

At 10:56 -0700 2005-04-06, Andrew Layman wrote:
Several recent proposals have noted possibilities for improvement in XML.  Notable among these are "XML Binary Characterization" (http://www.w3.org/TR/2005/NOTE-xbc-characterization-20050331/) and "REST, SOAP, Speech Acts and the mustUnderstand model of SOA communications" (http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/200504/msg00000.html).
Overlooked in this technical discussion is a paper that Don Box and I posted late last Friday, "XML Performance Improvements through Interdisciplinary Factor Assessment and Application".  We commend it to your attention. We are very proud of this research; it is an innovative approach to XML performance. We would, of course, like to express proper appreciation for the research directions and approaches implied by many contributors to XML-Dev over the years, without whom we could not have taken this kind of research to its present level. It is also timely - or, more exactly, slightly past timely - in that proper consideration of this would have been most appropriate on the day it was published.
So far, it has received a cautiously measured reaction:  
Best wishes,
Andrew and Don
Redmond, Washington

Luthien Consulting: Real solutions to hard information management problems
   Specializing in XML, schema design, XSLT, and project design/review/repair
Steven J. DeRose, Ph.D., sderose@acm.org

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