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

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Claude L "Len" Bullard top-posted:

> Good enough.  Can I get that without the XML syntax?

I have no idea what "that" you're talking about,
but assuming that by "that" you mean this:

> [Joe English]
>> 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.

then sure: you can use S-expressions.  As any Lisp fan
will tell you, S-expressions can do everything that XML
can do, can do it better, and moreover did it first 40
years ago.

(FWIW I don't fully believe that myself, but that's
what all the Lisp fans say.  Certainly S-exprs and the
lowly CONS cell are just as good a foundation as anything
XML has to offer, and S-expression syntax has been used in
this problem domain before.  Dunno why the idea hasn't gained
as much traction as XML has.)

But I get the impression that you're looking for something
*binary*, 'cause, well, everyone knows that *binary* is
*faster*.  I don't believe that either, but if that's what
you want, take your pick: ASN.1 BER/DER/PER/*ER, ONC XDR, COM,
DCOM, any number of CORBA implementations, or an even greater
number of ad-hoc all-purpose binary serialization formats.
Or invent your own; everyone else does.  (The reason why none
of these has gained as much traction as XML is left as a
(one-star) exercise to the reader.  Multiple answers accepted.)

OTOH, if you buy the premise that elements, attributes, and text
are in some way the "right" set of building blocks -- well,
then why do you want that without the XML syntax?  That's like
saying you want S-expressions except without all the parentheses.

--Joe English



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