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RE: Still not the essence of XML (was Re: S-expressi

  • To: 'Rick Jelliffe' <ricko@a...>
  • Subject: RE: Still not the essence of XML (was Re: S-expressions vs. XML)
  • From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <clbullar@i...>
  • Date: Mon, 13 Jan 2003 08:51:52 -0600
  • Cc: xml-dev@l...

RE:  Still not the essence of XML (was Re:  S-expressi
From: Rick Jelliffe [mailto:ricko@a...]

>So the essense of XML is the herd instinct?  ;-)

There is some truth to that if not definitionally, 
then empirically.  Much depends on what 
one does with XML as to what one regards as essential 
(see debates over IDness on TAG and here).  

Because many do essentially different but overlapping 
tasks, the definition of what is core to XML, say 
essential, will typically be contentious.  It may be 
that that is the essence (wide range of application).

Sowa claims the essence of XML is syntax:

"The major reason why people are using XML is just that a lot of
other people who are using it have provided easily available tools
for parsing it.

But there is nothing about XML that makes it easier to compare
two different class models that have been translated into XML.
On the contrary, XML is an extremely verbose notation that makes
it very difficult for human beings to read anything that has been
written in XML.  Its only advantage is that there are a lot of
computer programs that can read and parse XML.  For the purpose
of making it easier to compare two different models, translating
both of them into XML will only have the effect of making them
harder for people to read.  That won't facilitate comparison.

If you want to compare two models, it is much more important to
translate them to some version of logic.  Then you can use logical
operations to define the semantics of the models.  Logic enables
you to state rules and definitions that define the underlying
concepts and specify the permissible operations and behavior of
the things those concepts represent.  The reason why logic is
better than XML is that logic has semantics.  XML by itself only
gives you syntax."

John F Sowa 
"CG: Question about  CGs and OO concepts"
Conceptual Graphs List



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