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Re: [xml-dev] Not using mixed content? Then don't use XML

On Sun, 2013-03-24 at 09:09 -0400, Simon St.Laurent wrote:
> [...] geodata is where I first encountered the massive headaches 
> induced by XML's overhead and a severe mismatch between the constraints 
> that the designers of schema languages thought useful and the 
> constraints that developers actually needed...

In general XML makes life harder for developers, not easier, compared
with formats designed by developers.

In general XML makes life easier for document designers and people
working with (textual) documents, not harder, compared with other

This isn't only about mixed content, it's about whether the text is
primarily maintained by people or by programs.

XML APIs, in general, suck really really badly for developers.
But (a big but) working in XQuery, XPath, XSLT, can help considerably.

Believe it or not, there are still tons of people who use the XML DOM
API. No wonder they hate XML.

> (And yes, JSON has schemas, and programmers have other forms of testing 
> data validity, and... no, XML has no innate advantage here.)

The XML Schema languages tend to focus on business-level constraints.
The JSON ones I've seen tend to be more about data binding and typing -
you can say the socksize item must be a number between 4 and 92, with no
more than one decimal place, but not so easily that "material" must be a
fabric and retain that information after loading the JSON data.

So yes, JSON fine for machine-machine transfer of geo data, especially
when you control the applications at both ends.  XML was designed for
technical documentation, where it still excels, or for cases where you
don't control the receiving application and in fact don't know anything
about it.

JSON has fabulous APIs for programmers, and as long as programmers are
in charge of the temple, the writers, editors, indexers, the people
working with text, are required to be Believers. But one day there will
be a Revelation and a Revolution.  We will burn the sandals of the
priests on the altar we dedicate to primacy of our texts over the
accursed programs.




Liam Quin - XML Activity Lead, W3C, http://www.w3.org/People/Quin/
Pictures from old books: http://fromoldbooks.org/
Ankh: irc.sorcery.net irc.gnome.org freenode/#xml

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