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Re: [xml-dev] RE: What is XML's sweet spot?

I won't presume to know what Alain, Simon, or Henry intended with respect to Roger's question.

However, I will say that I -- speaking as somebody who has been in the computer industry for 50 years and deeply engaged in data management for about 40 of those years -- believe that XML is an excellent tool for use with fully-structured data.

The most trivial situation that I can cite to support my belief is the transfer of SQL database data across networks to (potentially) heterogeneous consumers. SQL data is fully structured, of course, and that structure must be maintained when the data is transferred. There are other solutions to the problem, of course: * JSON is promoted by some, but IMHO JSON is far better suited for semi-structured data than for structured; * RDA [Remote Database Access] was once popular but never really kept up with enhancements to SQL; * ODBC is still somewhat popular, and its cousin JDBC is far moreso, but they also never really kept up with enhancements to SQL. A very popular solution is EXI (a/k/a compressed XML).

The argument that XML is too burdened with various baggage is too often an argument that ad hoc mechanisms and/or customized hand-written code is preferred. Neither is.

Hope this helps,

On 2/18/2016 11:44 AM, Costello, Roger L. wrote:
Thanks Alain, Simon, and Henry.

One thing that stuck out as I read Henry's message is the word "semi-structured":

XML remains the sweet-spot for semi-structured data
Henry, do you mean that XML's sweet-spot is just with mixed content? Fully-structured XML is not in its sweet spot?

XML with mixed content:

       <Comment>This is a <emp>very</emp> nice widget</Comment>

Fully-structured XML:

             <Title>The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn</Title>
             <Author>Mark Twain</Author>

Mixed content XML is in. Fully-structured XML is out. Is that what you are saying?


-----Original Message-----
From: Henry S. Thompson [mailto:ht@markup.co.uk]
Sent: Thursday, February 18, 2016 12:53 PM
To: Costello, Roger L. <costello@mitre.org>
Cc: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: Re: What is XML's sweet spot?

"Costello, Roger L." <costello@mitre.org> writes:

Arjun Ray wrote [2]:

	the authors [of a paper criticizing XML] do go wrong in
	characterizing XML as a "mechanism for serializing structured
	data", which is precisely where all the bad karma originates.

	if the question is "a flexible, efficient, automated mechanism for
	serializing structured data", then just about all of the time XML is
	_not_ the answer.
I strongly disagree.  First, distinguish between human-authored
vs. automatically generated.  Then, distinguish between human-targeted
vs. automatically consumed.  Finally, consider whether
trust boundaries and/or mission-critical integrity constraints are
involved, i.e. whether validation is needed.

For the _very_ large space of automatically-generated and -consumed
information, where validation is required, XML remains the sweet-spot
for semi-structured data, in my opinion.  And there are lots and lots
of systems that do this.

Jim Melton --- Editor of ISO/IEC 9075-* (SQL)     Phone: +1.801.942.0144
  Chair, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC32 and W3C XML Query WG    Fax : +1.801.942.3345
Oracle Corporation        Oracle Email: jim dot melton at oracle dot com
1930 Viscounti Drive      Alternate email: jim dot melton at acm dot org
Sandy, UT 84093-1063 USA  Personal email: SheltieJim at xmission dot com
=  Facts are facts.   But any opinions expressed are the opinions      =
=  only of myself and may or may not reflect the opinions of anybody   =
=  else with whom I may or may not have discussed the issues at hand.  =

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