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   Re: [xml-dev] Why XML for Messaging?

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Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:

> Still, no one has answered why I need
> pointy brackets for that given comma-delimited ascii worked
> just as well and is smaller.

But comma-delimited ASCII doesn't work just as well.

First: comma-delimited.  What if the fields contain commas?
Or newlines?  They need to be quoted (and the developers
need to know that they need to be quoted), which means you've
already got an interop problem, namely, which of the half-dozen
flavors of CSV are you going to use?

Second: ASCII.  'Nuf said.

Third, and most important, is the shape of the data.
Not everything fits in a list of homogeneous records,
which is CSV's the natural shape.  Of course you can
wedge data that isn't shaped like an N by M table into
a CSV file, but then you have to devise your own encoding 

XML's basic building blocks of elements, attributes,
and text are flexible enough to accomodate a much
broader range of data.  Only a few things fit in a
regular table, but a lot of things can fit in a tree.

--Joe English



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