RE: terra incognita
> -----Original Message----- > From: Gavin Thomas Nicol [mailto:gtn@r...] > Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2001 12:33 PM > To: xml-dev@l... > Subject: Re: terra incognita > > > I think SOAP/XML-RPC/.Net etc all point to an unfulfilled > need in the market more than anything else. People want to leverage pervasive > networking, and want more flexible/open RPC mechanisms than CORBA et al. > provide. That is very different from needing HTTP and XML. I don't think we really disagree. Computers were invented for number crunching, and ended up being used primarily for text processing (word processing, email, web browsing). Telephones were invented for humans to talk to humans, and later were "abused" by modems, voicemail, voice-response interfaces to computers, mobile phones with a little web browser, text messaging, etc. People need flexible/open networking to exchange objects or data between applications. They look around and see that HTTP is everywhere and it works good enough for the networking layer, and they see that XML is flexible and (almost) good enough for the flexible object serialization/data exchange layer. Sure, they don't "need" HTTP and XML, but both are more or less free, and more or less universal. Why even bother complaining that they aren't the Right Thing since Worse is Better wins every time? <grin> Seriously, and getting back to Simon's original point when he originated this thread: XML (1.0 or 1.1 as presently conceived) is far from perfect as a serialization format for objects or binary data. BUT once the data is in XML, it is (in principle) liberated from the application or class definitions that produced it. One might think of some SOAP message as a kludgy serialization of some business object, but for others it's an XML "document" that they can whack on with XPath/XQuery/XSLT/SAX/DOM/RDF/godonlyknowswhat. THAT's the real power of XML as an object serialization format, and this totally overwhelms its limitations ... at least today. If someday there are cheap, ubiquitous ASN.1 tools for parsing, transformation, manipulation, display, and querying, then this advantage of XML goes away, and we'll be arguing about this on ASN-DEV or whatever.
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