Re: Adam Bosworth Article - what does "direct access" mean?
On Thursday 16 January 2003 19:28, W. E. Perry wrote: > As for 'direct > access', it means (as it always has since I started reading code in > 1966): conforming exactly to brittle expectations from a priori > agreements, so that I don't have to parse it, lex it, analyze it, > compare it to its history, or otherwise do in computerized processing > what the human brain has to do in handling every bit of new input it > ever encounters. Have any of the defenders of direct access here (are > there any?) said anything to contradict that characterization? I'll bite :-) I say that's a purely relative statement. Whereas in a programming language we have to access our XML via various ungainly constructs, in XSLT it's a lot simpler because XSLT's data model is the XML data model so you don't need to do any conversions. However, if you have data stored in the format of a serialised Java object it would be nice and easy to access from Java, but from XSLT you would need to do something with an HTTP-accessible converter along the lines of: document('http://proxy.com/JavaToXML?url=http://data.com/my-java.ser&field=foo') The expectations some XSLT has of an XML document is just as brittle as the expectation some Java code might have of a Java object. My "object.field" will break if the field is renamed in the same way that "/root/field" would. It's not about whether parsing happens or not - calling stream.readObject () in Java invokes a kind of parser to deserialise the object; the difference is in data model conversion. XML is a data model that the language XSLT is based around, while Java is based around a different one, so mapping from one to the other involves a bit more work. > > Walter Perry > ABS -- A city is like a large, complex, rabbit - ARP
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