Simplification and Composability (RE: SOAP Message Transmissio
It helps if those doing the simplification are roughly the same people who did the original. In the case of XML, that was 90% true. One could argue that simplification of complex systems is normally achieved by encapsulating a feature into a different component or layer and decoupling it via an interface. DTDs were made optional and that made sense for networked systems. But the problems of augmentation and the requirements for validation never disappeared. The syntax problem (DTDs in a different syntax) was factoring because in practice, it wasn't a problem. It simplified the parse. Was that a large gain? Opinions vary but it did open up the technology to competing solutions there, and one might say it simplified the technology but made the environment more complex (how many validation types does one want to support). Namespaces seem to complexify everything they touch. Because SGML did not deal with these except in subdocuments where the complexification was rough encapsulation, there was no prior experience except by analogy to other languages and the Oster system. If one accepts the assertion that XML itself is only syntax, then namespaces work reasonably well. If one attempts to use them with any other semantic, results vary. You have no doubt noted Sandro Hawke's thread on the TAG concerning modularity and composable languages. Permathread #3, (How Does XML Support Composable Languages) is on the schedule again. I wonder who will be the first to resurrect Brad Cox and Software ICs. Now that is a golden oldie, but closer to the solution than most. It leads to C#, Java and UML and away from declarative data objects. len From: Simon St.Laurent [mailto:simonstl@s...] clbullar@i... (Bullard, Claude L (Len)) writes: >At least it is easy to see now how SGML became as >complex as it did over time. What doesn't get >put into XML shows up in the applications. It >will be fun as some of us get closer to retirement >and watch the next generation of "we can do this >simpler and better". > >Cars and jets never get simpler overall. Why >do people believe software should? In general, I don't expect it should. In this case, I think it's funny, because a group threw away all those features, claiming they were too obscure, and then reinvented them in a form that seems even more obscure. Reinventing the wheel is fine, as long as you come up with a better wheel. I think XML 1.0 (and perhaps XSLT 1.0) set a standard for improving wheels by simplification that hasn't been matched since.
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