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Having worked with self-defining (binary) data structures in the past,
I'd say the value of the tool support in XML is very significant.
Having to write parsers for self-defining, tree-structured, record
formats is an unpleasant overhead and being able to validate the records
using DTDs or stylesheets (instead of just processing them and getting a
nasty surprise from the business logic when they are broken) is very nice.
Keep in mind when thinking about storage efficiency that if you shoehorn
the data into a database, long datatypes in databases are not
necessarily stored very efficiently, they are optimised for storage and
access and only after that for space usage. XML's verbosity doesn't
look so bad when your database rowsize is a multiple of 8k or 4k because
of a long varchar type not packing nicely onto a database storage page.
Bryce K. Nielsen wrote:
> I'll chime in. Readability is a strong reason, but not the only reason
> for XML. Extensibility is another. Legacy apps that store data in
> files will often times be very hardcoded. You can't touch the file
> format or everything dies. With XML, you can adjust the format (add
> nodes, child nodes, etc) without breaking anything.
> As for real-world applications, here's where I've found it very useful:
> - Config files (use XML instead of INI)
> - Simple storage (like a min-database) for applications
> - Real-time Application Integration
> - Web pages (with XSL)
> The best thing I've found about XML is forward-thinking. I don't have
> to worry too much about "locking" myself into a particular structure.
> If anything, once the structure changes, only a simple stylesheet is
> needed to update all my older documents.
> Bryce K. Nielsen
> SysOnyx, Inc. (www.sysonyx.com)
> Makers of xmlDig, the XML-SQL Extractor
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Byarlay, Wayne A." <email@example.com>
> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Sent: Monday, November 21, 2005 2:14 PM
> Subject: RE: [xml-dev] Xml file sizes
> Well, I've certainly received a well-voiced response. It would seem that
> XML's readability is its strongest point. Both by people, and computers.
> If its original design was more for ease-of-use, than straight-out
> efficiency, that would make sense.
> Thanks for your input! Though, right now, I cannot think of any
> applications for XML in any of my current projects, I will keep it in
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