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Re: terra incognita


Re:  terra incognita
On Sunday 16 December 2001 08:58 pm, Simon St.Laurent wrote:
> On my way back from XML 2001, I started thinking about the conference
> I'd just seen and how exactly I landed in XML.  Wandering through a
> bunch of different loosely-connected ideas, I started thinking that XML
> and markup in general - including and perhaps especially SGML - simply
> doesn't fit well with a huge amount of what the rest of computing wants
> to believe.

This is true... I'm also of the opinion that XML/SGML aren't perfect markup 
languages either. It seems to me that XML/SGML are very processing-oriented. 
One example of this in that markup in texts isn't necessarily hierarchical, 
though XML forces this restriction upon you (and yes, I do know of various 
ways of getting around this, and yes, I am aware of TEI et al.).

This is of great benefit for many applications where one wants to delineate 
the *structure* of documents so that you can process the documents more 
efficiently (the techdoc market is a good example), but it is very hard to 
represent marked up texts fully. You can argue that existing tools are poor, 
but I'm not convinced better tools would solve all the problems.

> The separation of content from presentation (or processing) in XML seems
> to work okay with similar notions in relational databases, but goes
> against much of the grain of object-oriented development. 

I don't know. MVC is a common pattern, and I think XML+XSL represents the M+V 
parts very well.

That said, I would agree the XML is vastly different from the strongly-typed 
OO languages that many people are familiar with. Whether those languages 
represent real OO programming is somewhat debatable.

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