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Re: [xml-dev] Transformative Programming: Flow-based, functional,and more

On 10/17/13 6:35 PM, Peter Hunsberger wrote:
I'll buy into your view on REST, maybe a better fit is something like
Web Sockets?
It could be. I think my general thought is that it matters less how the modules communicate among themselves and more how they're assembled or orchestrated. REST will certainly work for the communication, but I'm not sure it's central.

However, I can't agree with you in regards to tighter
specs inside applications and looser between them.  Are you suggesting
that (for example) a Java method that has a single String as it's input
and output needs a full XSD or some other more formal spec?
No, but - to use an example I have doubts about - programmers build types inside their code and expect pieces to fit together based on those declarations. They don't need XSD, as there's already a type system there.

XSD is what you use when you want to inflict type systems on the outside world. (Granted, 'outside' may have a variety of meanings.)

I suspect
you're indulging in a bit of hyperbole in that,
Actually, I was indulging in understatement.

flexibility between
applications in what they can accept might simplify the world, but you
know as well as anyone that not everything can be mapped to name value
pairs or tuples and left at that?
I think we've been through this conversation, but for a quick reprise:

* Brittleness works better inside of applications where you control the whole conversation.

* Flexibility, whether by means of multiple pathways, human intervention, or a combination of strategies, works better between applications where you don't control it all.

The tragedy of XML is that instead of building flexible systems for dealing with each others' expectations, we slapped schemas down as relatively simple tests, border guards who aren't very smart. Tangling it further, we then try to talk through schemas when we should probably just talk with each other.

Yes, it does take effort to build systems without demanding prior and consistent agreement, and it can be hard to see the value when people come from legal or programming cultures that mistake brittleness for strength.

I'm happy to report that I keep hearing small stories of flexible structures built on markup, and hope that new best practices will climb out from under the current maze.

Simon St.Laurent

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