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Re: Hostility to "binary XML" (was Re: XML 2004 weblog items?)

  • To: Robin Berjon <robin.berjon@e...>
  • Subject: Re: Hostility to "binary XML" (was Re: XML 2004 weblog items?)
  • From: Michael Champion <michaelc.champion@g...>
  • Date: Mon, 22 Nov 2004 15:10:30 -0500
  • Cc: xml-dev@l...
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  • Reply-to: Michael Champion <michaelc.champion@g...>

w3c binary xml
On Mon, 22 Nov 2004 20:05:54 +0100, Robin Berjon <robin.berjon@e...> wrote:

FWIW, the show-stopper argument in a number of discussions at XML 2004
that I heard against the idea that "XML text is ubiquitous, don't mess
with it" was from the wireless people:  XML is NOT ubiquitous in our
world, because of the excessive bandwidth requirements.  Our technical
constraints are fundamental and not going away anytime soon, so don't
expect Moore's Law to make everything alright the way it has made
convenient but inefficient approaches work on the desktop and on the
server.  On othe other hand, we desperately want the tools and
standardization that XML offers, just not that verbose serialization.
We could write a standard for our industry, but we want *one*
internet, not a wired one and a wireless one."

> Is everyone perfectly
> happy and comfy with the notion of a W3C-approved binary XML format (I
> doubt it)? 

I doubt it too.  I think people have accepted that there is a problem,
but there is intense skepticism that a single standard format will
cover all (or even 80%) of the requirements.  One data point that some
people from Microsoft brought up in the Binary XML Town Hall:  They
have *tried* to come up with one binary serialization that will
satisfy even their internal customers, and haven't found one. There is
also EXTREME skepticism that a typical W3C design by committee job
will come up with anything useful.

> Have people given up (on the Life, the Universe, the W3C)?
> Does this community trust the XBC WG in its eternal (*cough*) wisdom to
> reach the right conclusions? 

The sense I got from Michael Leventhal's presentation on the XBC was
that you are doing the Right Thing.  I didn't hear anyone in the
audience disagree that this is a very valuable exercise, even if many
are convinced that it will ultimately conclude that the
(non-wireless?) world is not ready for a single binary XML standard. 
Most of us would  be extremely happy to be proven wrong on that point,
if the data are there to back it up.

I ended my talk with a *personal* [don't hold any past, present, or
future employer responsible!] recommendation "Leave evolution to
Darwin, not Berners-Lee".  In other words, it's time to experiment, to
develop specs that meet the needs of some specific industry, to see if
parsing and compression technology for XML text can be dramatically
improved .... and THEN to come back with data and best practices in
hand to see if W3C Recommendations can be agreed upon.


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