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   Re: [xml-dev] Objectifying XML - JavaScript Extensions for XML (E4X) - C

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There was a recent announcement of IBM extending Java this way - see


At 10:48 AM 7/21/2005, Gerald Bauer wrote:
>  allow me to highlight the blog story tilted "Objectifying XML - E4X for 
> Firefox 1.1" by Kurt Cagle. Kurt writes:
>  Sometimes it's the little things that catch you by surprise. Deep within 
> the list of the various new features appearing within Firefox 1.1, there 
> was a short one liner about a new extension to Javascript called E4X. I 
> was kind of curious about this, given that there was very little else 
> that I could uncover about this, but it turns out the E4X is shorthand 
> for ECMAScript for XML, a language extension proposed to the ECMA late 
> last summer.
>  The principle behind E4X is simple, but very profound. Currently, 
> Javascript is rather stupid about XML - if you want to manipulate XML, 
> you have to create a set of interfaces and use the W3C DOM and frequently 
> some VERY painful treewalking or convoluted XPath calls in order to be 
> able to do anything with it. I've long wished that there was a simpler 
> mechanism for working with XML, especially as web development code is 
> increasingly moving to an XML basis.
>  E4X does precisely this. It lets Javascript treat XML as a native 
> application type in exactly the same way that Javascript handles strings, 
> numbers and regular expressions. However, if this was all that E4X did, 
> it'd be not much more useful than DOM.
>  Howevever, the other aspect of E4X, the one that is most interesting, is 
> the fact that it "objectifies" XML. In other words, it lets you convert 
> an XML document into a representation of an object, without having to go 
> through the long, involved steps involved in working with DOM.
>  More @ http://www.understandingxml.com/archives/2005/06/objectifying_xm.html
>What's your take?  Do you see any need for adding XML as a native type to 
>scripting or programming languages or are existing APIs such as DOM, SAX & 
>friends good enough? Has anyone used E4X already and care to share your 
>- Gerald
>PS:  IBM has published an article on E4X titled "AJAX and scripting Web 
>services with E4X" online @ 
>Vancouver XML Developers Association (VanX) - http://vanx.org
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