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Re: [xml-dev] An inquiry into the nature of XML and how it orientsour perception of information

Mukul Gandhi a écrit :
7870f82e0911212252y80c1378u6485461f04173fd4@mail.gmail.com" type="cite">
Yes, one mans data, is another persons metadata , is another persons
programming language...

I would not completely disagree to this. But contradicting a bit to
this, I'll never consider a XSLT program as data (an XSLT markup would
always be, a representation of executable program for me, conceptually
like say a java or C program).
It's sometimes very useful to consider programs as data. For example, the make utility treats programs to be compiled and linked: it's a sort of "meta-program" with programs as data. Having an XML notation for programming language allows to process them as any XML data. What is a program or what is data is just a point of view: when a system receives a purchase order, it receives purchase data and the order to process it; in a sense, the purchase order is written in a very specific programming language that the server can understand. It's the same for an HTML page: <h1> can be interpreted as the data for header at level 1 or as an instruction to write a header at level 1.

Java or C languages don't benefit of an XML notation but it's mainly an human constraint: it's easier for developers to write instructions this way. Smart editors could interpret instructions to write them internally in XML while still render them as they are now. Analyze and generate instructions can then be very powerful.

If you look at instructions generated by yacc, you will find that C arrays of data are actually generated and that there is an engine to interpreted them. Is Java P-Code data or instructions ??? XML didn't create this but with XML is more and more obvious.

It's in developers culture to distinguish between data and instructions since assembling languages and it's easy to accept but it is not true for computers.

Best regards,

Alain Couthures
Bordeaux, France

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