Re: Adam Bosworth Article - what does "direct access" mean?
Simon St.Laurent wrote: > It's an understatement to say that I'm sick and tired of programmers and > database developers trying to cram what XML does into their particular > views of the world - and worse, to inflict those views on XML itself > through a standards process gone rotten. It's a fact of life that most programmers think in terms of the procedural logic they're trying to write and the user-visible effect they're trying to achieve. The notion that programmers should put extra work into trying to achieve data interoperability has *always* been a tough sell. There was a time when computers had "FORTRAN files" and "COBOL files" and FORTRAN programs couldn't read COBOL files, and a lot of programmers resisted moves towards a common filesystem format because they weren't having a problem. Then there was a time when most OS filesystems came with a built-in record structure that you really couldn't get around, and if you wrote a sequence of bytes into a file it might come back different because of the record mechanics. Selling Unix's world-view that a file is a place you write bytes into and then read them back was tough because the record view was less interoperable but handier for many application programmers. XML is just another chapter in the same long story. It usually turns out to be a win to make programmmers' lives more difficult by forcing them to deal with data as the data wants to be, not as their application wants to see it. Usually they complain, and demand tools to make it easier to get at the data their logic demands. Seems like a fair demand to me. I personally am right now in the process of writing a bunch of perl code to read some XML and manipulate the data it represents and generate some web output, and I also found it irritating and tedious to extract the pieces I needed. Doesn't mean that XML isn't the right way to store the upstream data, but it also doesn't mean that I'm not allowed to complain and ask for better ways to do it. So up to this point, I'm fine with what Adam is saying. -Tim
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