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Re: Partyin' like it's 1999

  • To: xml-dev@l...
  • Subject: Re: Partyin' like it's 1999
  • From: Sean McGrath <sean.mcgrath@p...>
  • Date: Wed, 27 Oct 2004 13:06:34 +0100
  • Organization: Propylon
  • Reply-to: sean.mcgrath@p...
  • User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 0.6 (Windows/20040502)

sean mcgrath rigs
Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:

> Ok.  Any parties interested in posting their favorite five bad 
> problems with XML in order here?  I wonder what the consensus is on 
> the top two.  

Only Five? Darn. I cannot squeeze it to less than six :-) Here they are:

1) The lack of sane, simple roundtrippability. I read in some XML, I 
write it straight back out again. I loose stuff on the way. R u nuts? 
And you call this a machine processible data format:-) My proposal for 
fixing this zit on the face of progress is here : 
http://sdec.reach.ie/rigs/rig0002. Yes I have read XML canonicalisation 
spec and the exclusive one and the schema aware one. I rest my case.

2) Namespaces - specifically defaulting an the "declare 'em anywhere you 
like buddy" aspects. Again, I've taken a shot at limiting the damage 
these puppies have done. My effort is here: 

3) No same, simple pull based XPath 1.0 subset.

4) W3C XML Schema - pretty much everything about it.

5) Doctype. We should have left assertions about schema compliance (and 
consequently the entire idea of an embedded document type declaration 
subset) on the clipping room floor. This causes endless grief when, for 
example, you wish to do a WF parse and don't have the asserted DTD to 
hand. Also, grief ensues when you are writing out a instance and need to 
reflect whatever doctype it had on the input side, but it needs to come 
after - not before - the XML declaration ... etc.

6) Fuzzyness over the use of terms like "XML parser" and "XML Editor" 
and "XML aware" and "XML compliant". If product X does not do Unicode, 
chokes on DTD subsets, casefold element type names, scatalogizes 
whitespace or whatever then  is it okay to call it an XML parser or XML 
Editor?. We shouldn't have to read the fine print in the release notes 
of a product to find out what the thing doesn't do "yet". Commercial 
concerns have taken advantage of this fuzzyness to label all sorts of 
things "XML-based" and "XML compliant" when they are not. Interop 
problems are the inevitable result.



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