RE: ConciseXML syntax
Not only do you make outlandish claims but you overempasize what are irrelevant issues as serious problems. PS: XML can't represent objects at best it can represent C-style structs and even then it needs a notion of IDness to do this completely. -- PITHY WORDS OF WISDOM A pipe gives a wise man time to think and a fool something to stick in his mouth. This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. > > > -----Original Message----- > From: Mike Plusch [mailto:mplusch@c...] > Sent: Friday, January 17, 2003 11:57 AM > To: xml-dev@l... > > > ----- Original Message ----- > From: "Rodriguez, Sergio" <srodriguez@c...> > > >I've always assumed that "compatible with XML" meant "would pass > >through an XML 1.0 parser without a fatal error". > > I say that a standard "uses the XML 1.0 syntax". > Compatibility usually implies that one thing can be used > instead of another thing. You wouldn't say that XHTML could > be used instead of XML -- it's comparing different things. > I think it is confusing if you say that XHTML is compatible > with XML. A vocabulary using XML syntax is much different > that a syntax. > > Mike Plush wrote: > >If you ask 5 developers to create an XML 1.0 representation for a > >single, well-specific object (say a Java object), then you > will likely > >get 5 _different_ XML 1.0 representations for that same > object. This > >is a HUGE problem that leads to a lot of semantic ambiguity. > ConciseXML > >has no such problem. > > Sergio Rodriguez wrote: > >How can this be? Any examples of how "ConciseXML" resolves the > semantic > >ambiguity problem of the abstraction of any entity? > > Sure. I'll take a section from Chapter 2 of my Water book. > > XML is commonly used to represent data structures. A data > structure is just a way to represent data that obeys some > well-defined structure. I will describe how Water can > formally describe the structure of data by using Water Type > and Water Contract. But this chapter shows how to > unambiguously represent static data by using Water. > > Representing static data might seem straightforward, but XML > 1.0 has some design constraints carried over from the > document markup world that make representing data in XML > quite confusing. A discussion about elements versus > attributes is a common example of this confusion. > In most programming languages and other technologies for > representing data, there is a concept of a data structure, > data value, or object. This book, by convention, will use the > term object. The word object will be similar to other terms > such as a record, structure, or tuple from other technologies. > > In most programming languages, an object has fields, and > those fields hold values that are other objects. Water > objects have this property as well. An object is a collection > of fields. Each field has a key and a value. The value can be > any object. > > The following is an example of an item object. > <item id="XL283 " color=="blue " size==10/> > > The preceding XML could be verbally described as creating an > instance of an item object. The instance has three fields: id > , color , and size . The value of the id field is the string > "XL283 ", the value of the color field is "blue ", and the > value of the size field is the number 10 . > > The type or class of the object appears as the element's > name, immediately following the opening angle bracket (<). > The fields of the object are represented as key-value pairs > within the element's opening area. > > When you see an opening angle bracket, it syntactically is > the start of an XML element, but it has the semantic meaning > of performing a call. The call is either the calling of > method, or the calling of a constructor method of an object. > Fields of an object have a clear and unambiguous key and value. > > <item id="xx283 " color=="blue " size==10/> > > In the preceding line, the instance of item has three fields. > "id "is the key of the first field, and "xx283 "is the value > of the field. "color "is the key of the second field and > "blue "is its value. "size "is the key of the third field and > the integer 10 is its value. > > It is very common, though, to see the following XML to > represent the instance of item above. > <item> > <id>xx283</id> > <color>blue</color> > <size>10</size> > </item> > > To the vast majority of people, the above XML looks very > normal and easily understood, but this is an example of XML > in the flat-world model. The round-world model sees this as > an ambiguous, poorly constructed XML data object. > One > problem that is described in detail later in this chapter is > that the syntax of an XML element is used to represent two > very different things: an object and a field of an object. > Having one syntax to represent two different concepts > presents a serious ambiguity. This ambiguity leads to a > serious problem when a machine tries to interpret the meaning > of the XML data. > > For a data structure to be useful, the distinction between > objects and fields is extremely important. How, for example, > do you know that <color>blue</color> represents a field of > item and not an instance of type color ? As humans, we use > our gift of pattern recognition to deduce that color must be > a field of item because it occurs within the content of item > and it has blue in the content of the element. > To emphasize the ambiguity, what if you wrapped the item > within another color element? Is item now a field of color ? > Did the meaning of item radically change because it moved to > a different level in the structure? > > <color> > <item> > <id>xx283</id> > <color>blue</color> > <size>10</size> > </item> > </color> > > If a serious ambiguity appears in such a small example, > imagine the scope of the problem when objects and data > structures get more complex. At a minimum, data structures > need to be unambiguous and not depend on any other knowledge > for interpreting a data structure. > > Most XML examples today exhibit the problem of element > ambiguity where elements are used for both representing a > field of an object as well as objects themselves. The problem > occurs in most XML standards and text-book examples from > major publishers. It is so common, in fact, that it is almost > impossible to find XML examples that do not have this problem. > I > believe that the "object-field ambiguity" of XML is one of > the primary reasons why XML is much more complex than > necessary. This widespread problem is one of the reasons for > the slow pace of XML adoption. > > Water's use of XML makes a clear separation between objects > and fields. An XML element represents an object. XML > attributes represent fields of an object. The ConciseXML > syntax allows any type of object as the value of an > attribute; therefore, Water supports fields that can store > any type of object -not just strings. > > > > ----------------------------------------------------------------- > The xml-dev list is sponsored by XML.org > <http://www.xml.org>, an initiative of OASIS > <http://www.oasis-open.org> > > The list archives are at http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/ > > To subscribe or unsubscribe from this list use the subscription > manager: <http://lists.xml.org/ob/adm.pl> > >
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