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Re: [xml-dev] Two philosophies of XML usage

I think "document person" relates to more of the type of content or the
way they were introduced to XML. and that tends to color the choice of
tools and approach.

I too come from the document side. I started with SGML and managing
publications through a publication pipeline where we had special editing
ools and programming tools like OmniMark and Balise. These things natively
understood the format and were in many cases designed to (in theory) make
it wasy for a non-programmer to work with their content.

Then came XML first as a content (get SGML to the web) approach and tools
like XPath and XSLT were built - similar capability as Omnimark with a
native understanding of the structure. Then the programmers seemed to come
in with Schema and all the bindings to all the various languages. To me
these seem bent on getting stuff out of XML as soon as possible and just
using the XML as a storage format. My biased view of the world ;-)

There is also a difference in data based applications to talk between two
applications (data bases say) and those document based systems that are
about managing the less structured world. Less structured in that it
doesn't map nicely to a relation database scheme and that it needs "oh my
God!" mixed content and that we do have a need for elements and attributes
and that there is a use and need to have markup and metadata on the

So althought both these worlds have a common language/sturucture, they
have different requirements for use as well as typcially different types
of people (training and background) that tend to drive them to different
solutions. I've also seem pubs departments that depending upon who sets
the support group up, that they will have a java bent or XSLT bent.


> Hi Folks,
> Long ago Sean McGrath created this mantra [1]:
> 1. Get data into XML as quickly as possible.
> 2. Keep it in XML until the last possible minute.
> 3. Bring all your XML tools to bear on solving the data processing
> problem.
> "Bring all your XML tools to bear" means to use XSLT and XPath to
> transform the XML, XQuery to query the XML, XML Schema/Relax NG/Schematron
> to validate the XML, and XProc to perform a series of activities (using
> the preceding tools) on the XML.
> On December 12, 2011 Liam Quin wrote [2]:
> I tend to think of data binding as a relatively unusual, although
> important, use of XML, but that's because I'm a document person
> really.
> By "document person" does Liam mean that he subscribes to Sean McGrath's
> mantra? That is, XML should remain intact and be processed by XML tools?
> Long ago Michael Kay made a wonderful statement about data being of
> primary importance. I wish that I could locate the specific statement, it
> was beautifully stated. Anyway, it went something like so:
> Data is of primary importance so it makes sense to keep the
> data intact and use tools that were created for the data format.
> Hopefully I have captured the essence of Michael's statement correctly.
> Okay ... XML (data) is primary ... there are tools to process XML ... use
> them.
> Would you call this the data-is-primary, manipulate-as-documents
> philosophy?
> --------
> It seems that some developers don't operate that way.
> It seems that some developers immediately extract the data from XML and
> embed it into Java (C++, C#, Python, etc.) data structures. From thence
> onward, processing is done in Java.
> Data binding tools facilitate the creation of the Java data structures.
> In some sense SAX promotes this approach since SAX requires Java code to
> catch the events it generates.
> Okay ... algorithms is primary ... there are programming languages to
> implement the algorithms ... use them.
> Would you call this the algorithms-is-primary, manipulate-data-structures
> philosophy?
> --------
> Is there an increasing trend toward the data-is-primary,
> manipulate-as-documents philosophy? Are web services being developed that
> way?
> Are there studies to show the enhanced productivity of the
> data-is-primary, manipulate-as-documents philosophy?
> Is there a reason why web services can't be implemented using the
> data-is-primary, manipulate-as-documents philosophy?
> /Roger
> [1] See slide #12 of
> http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCIQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fseanmcgrath.blogspot.com%2Fpipelines.ppt&ei=pyfzTue2Kcfg0QG_ra2JAg&usg=AFQjCNHJrmFcxoIaWq-lqqWEHMo6T47pKg&sig2=rTK1bnw2z7WRWsfsU2_WUA
> [2] http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/201112/msg00045.html
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