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Re: terra incognita

terra incognita
At 08:58 PM 16/12/01 -0500, Simon St.Laurent wrote:
>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 was forced to think about this back in '97.  I was tech-editing
one of the very early XML books, with multiple authors, and one
of the chapters went on and on about how XML was so great because
it was object-oriented.

At the time I argued, and I think I still believe, that XML is 
about as close as you can get to the *opposite* of O-O thinking.  
The O-O paradigm is that objects are nicely packaged opaque 
bundles of code & data that do things through carefully designed 
& presented interface, and you're not supposed to bother your 
pretty little head about what's happening inside.

A chunk of XML on the other hand perforce exposes all its
internal structure and does precisely nothing.  These two
paradigms come from different planets.

Mind you, all the software I write to process XML is pretty
object-oriented, and I can't imagine anyone advocating walking
away from the advances in SW development that O-O thinking
has brought us in recent decades.

At the end of the day code and data just aren't that much
like each other.  Maybe this is why Lisp never took over the
world, cool though it is.  -Tim


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