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Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:
> XML Binary is just an encoding, right?
That remains to be seen. Many proposals are decidedly not just an
encoding for the XML infoset.
>It is faster, right?
Sometimes. It is also slower sometimes. And sometimes there's no obvious
difference. It all depends on which documents, parsers, tools, and
benchmark techniques one chooses to test.
It is far from self-evident that binary formats are necessarily faster
than text. The best that can be said is that some parsers for some
binary formats are faster than some other parsers for XML text.
Honestly, I'm not sure if even this much has been proved for genuine
lossless encodings of XML.
> can be a lossless encoding, right?
Yes, it can be. Will it be? That remains to be seen. Far more proposals
for this format are lossy than not. It really tends to depend on how one
defines lossless and lossy.
Far too much effort has been spent shouting supposed self-evident truths
about how much faster/smaller/sexier binary formats are. Little in the
way of evidence has been produced, especially when:
1. You rule out all the lossy formats
2. You don't choose the slowest text parser out there to compare to.
Personally, I'm not convinced that there isn't another factor of ten
performance gain to be had in the world of real XML parsing, though
doing that will probably require ditching DOM and SAX in favor of a more
performance tuned API. Still, I doubt we've yet hit the end of the line
when it comes to XML parsing algorithms. I could well be wrong about
that, but it would be truly ironic if two weeks after binary XML goes to
REC, some grad student somewhere releases a text parser that beats the
pants off the binary parsers.
I suspect this would be more likely to happen if companies like Sun
devoted their brain power to XML parsing algorithms rather than
inventing new formats.
Elliotte Rusty Harold firstname.lastname@example.org
XML in a Nutshell 3rd Edition Just Published!