RE: reaching humans (was Re: Extract A Subsetof a W3
On Fri, 2003-08-01 at 09:36, Simon St.Laurent wrote: > Patrick.Garvey@t... writes: > >Perverse is a very strong term to use. > > It was as polite a word as I could find. > > >markup is also cool for separating data and processes that act on that > >data. yes, it's pretty heavyweight and there's all kinds of more > >lightweight data interchange formats, but XML has got all this inertia > >behind it and really great toolsets. Otright disparaging the use of > >markup for purely machine communication can't be mainstream either. As > >long as you can pay someone (or get paid for) debugging a bunch of > ><UDWhatever_22> tags, then fine -- you get to use all the fancy APIs. > >Why is this bad? Purely maintenance, IMHO. > > It's bad for a number of reasons. > > First, lousy markup design - for that's what I'll call it - sets bad > precedents for people. If all I've encountered is <UDWhatever_22>, and > that's what I think XML is, I'm liable to run like hell rather than deal > with XML unless I'm paid an awful lot. (That's my general response to > RDF/XML, and apparently it's not an unusual reaction.) > > Second, that kind of markup is only useful until we can't find the > documentation any more. For cases where the documentation is always > going to be absolutely positively necessary, maybe that's fine. > > Third, you're accepting all the costs of markup - text processing, > verbose descriptions, etc. - and getting only a few of the benefits. If > machine to machine communication is all you care about, there are much > more efficient yet still interoperable ways to do it. Momentum's great, > until the wave stops and you're left on a barren beach, far from the > next potential improvement. > > Fourth, you're pretty much declaring that your markup is only to be > handled by trained professionals. I guess that works fine with the cult > of the programmer-priest, but it's not much good for the folks who > actually like to get their hands dirty with the data but aren't > necessarily programmers. > > That's a brief list; I'll be happy to come up with more if provoked. > > One of my hopes for the W3C Binary Infosets meeting is that someone > realizes that markup is a crappy solution for a lot of the projects > people are using it for, and that perhaps they'll be able to come up > with better answers more appropriate to the tasks and programming > cultures where XML has landed. xml isn't the silver bullet? ;) rick
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