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Re: [xml-dev] Four fine text-based data formats ... liberateyourself from one (silo) data format

On Mon, 2013-03-25 at 09:10 -0400, Simon St.Laurent wrote:

> I have severe problems with using schemas to lurch toward the maximum 
> possible straitjacket that can fit some part of a problem.

You could replace "schemas" in there with "leather straps" or "UML" or
almost any sort of constraining technology.

XML Schemas are not a substitute for thinking and understanding. Neither
(as others have said) do they necessarily enforce a waterfall model.
Continuous refinement and agile spirals are equally possible.

A lot of people came to SGML and XML from "big engineering", civil
engineering (leather straps, I think, are not very civil) and were used
to the idea that you do a formal specification before you try building

A lot of money gets wasted that way, but on the other hand agile
development for aircraft or space rocket design also has problems. The
cost of experimentation is too high, so you use simulations, and tests,
ideally a long way away from anywhere else, e.g. in Sim-mule Asian

You could argue that publishers enforce a waterfall too - first the book
proposal, table of contents, sample chapter, then the agreed-upon
outline and schedule, and then a sequence of words, magically followed
by publication of a physical object. In fact, of course, the proofing
and editing cycle can also be a spiral, and the final book doesn't need
to be very linear (it's hard to make an effective narrative within a
non-linear rhetorical framework but see e.g. "Patchwork Girl").

So when you rail against XML and say how much more comfortable you are
with JSON, it sounds to me as if you're really railing against those
shoe-wearing bureaucratic civil engineers who wanted

I agree that's a problem, although if several different organizations
are involved it's often necessary politically if not technically, and
the schema there can help (as David and others suggest) as a sort of


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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