Re: Inheritance in XML (was Re: Problems parsing XML)
I agree that, in the future, hopefully, these will all become semantic issues (said with tear welling in eye). lisa rein Frank Manola wrote: > > At 8:55 PM -0700 4/16/98, Tim Bray wrote: > >At 10:35 PM 14/04/98 -0500, len bullard wrote: > >>> [Chris Maden <crism@o...>:] > >>> > One fundamental flaw in _XML Complete_ is Holzner's apparent belief > >>> > that you must write Java code in order to do anything useful with > >>> > XML. > > > >>Markup doesn't care. That's the beauty of it. :- > > > >Yes! What he said. As a result of having been a programmer since > >A.D. 1979, my faith in interoperable APIs is torn and shredded. > >But I think that interoperable syntax is usefully achievable. > >Hence, XML. -T. > > > > and Matthew Gertner wrote: > >Eliot Kimber indicated some scepticism as to whether OO techniques have > >really lived up to their hype. In terms of a controlled environment, they > >have. Any C programmer who has moved onto C++ will attest that OO features > >make it far easier to write extensible and maintainable code. On the other > >hand, the promise that this would lead to interchangeable components that > >could be used anywhere has clearly been a flop. Why? For exactly the reason > >Tim mentioned in his mail: interoperable APIs never work. You can't > >interface with code and expect this interface to apply to any environment > >other than the one it was specifically designed for. This is the case > >whatever technology you are using (DLLs, Java, JavaBeans, Smalltalk, COM, > >CORBA, etc.). Hence XML. > > These observations about the (at least so far) lack of success with truly > interoperable APIs are certainly true, and the potential of interoperable > syntax "feels" right, but I wonder to what extent we may be comparing > apples and oranges here. Specifically, what do we mean by "interoperable"? > Interoperable APIs are hard at least in part because an incredible amount > of semantics are (implicitly) built into a typical API (as is suggested by > Matthew's comment). Moreover, interoperable APIs are held to a "strict > accountability": the programs interacting through them must work without > either syntactic or semantic errors (and, with programs, these are > typically all bundled up). However, if programs must agree on the precise > meanings of tagged data in order to guarantee proper operation when > exchanging data (and what else does a fair understanding of "interoperable" > mean in this context?), won't the semantics that must be mutually > understood be (approximately) just as complex? And don't we then need to > consider the mechanism(s) for achieving *that* in our comparisons? After > all, it's not enough that the programs be "interoperable" in the sense that > they can each "operate" (e.g., read, parse, or even approximately get the > meaing) on the other's data; the operation must also be "correct" in a > fairly constrained sense. I have in mind all the problems large companies > are having merging data from different databases into data warehouses due > to sometimes subtle differences in semantics (e.g,, of what a "customer" > is), even when the data item names (corresponding to markup) are the same > (or, at least, fairly regular). I'm not, here, arguing *against* the idea > of interoperable syntax, but I am questioning how easy it will really be to > get the degree of "interoperability" we seem to be implicitly expecting. > > --Frank > > ----------------------------------------------------------------------- > Frank Manola www: http://www.objs.com > Object Services and Consulting, Inc. email: fmanola@o... > 151 Tremont Street #22R voice: 617 426 9287 > Boston, MA 02111 > > xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev@i... > Archived as: http://www.lists.ic.ac.uk/hypermail/xml-dev/ > To (un)subscribe, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; > (un)subscribe xml-dev > To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; > subscribe xml-dev-digest > List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa@i...) xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev@i... Archived as: http://www.lists.ic.ac.uk/hypermail/xml-dev/ To (un)subscribe, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; (un)subscribe xml-dev To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; subscribe xml-dev-digest List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa@i...)
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