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Re: Wikipedia on XML

  • From: Michael Ludwig <mlu@as-guides.com>
  • To: XML Developers List <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
  • Date: Wed, 26 Aug 2009 11:48:12 +0200

Re:  Wikipedia on XML
rjelliffe@allette.com.au schrieb:
>> rjelliffe@allette.com.au schrieb am 25.08.2009 um 15:03:14 (+1000):
>>> XML has no effective conditional text system.
>> Parameter entities plus INCLUDE/IGNORE? Not pretty, but effective
>> enough to appear working..
> Which XML editors let you work with parameter entities with marked up
> text.

I don't know. For me, Vim is enough. But the mechanism is in XML.
Editors perform much more marvelous tricks than supporting parameter
entities plus INCLUDE/IGNORE (let's say be greying out or folding
ignored text, or whatever appears suitable).

> Who does that really?

I know of one true XML expert who does it. There are no official stats,
but the dark figure might be higher than you think.

> We have had exactly this issue in OOXML. We wanted to reform the
> datatypes for numbers and so on. But spreadsheet vendors (not
> Micrsoft) complained that [...] the existing code base would accept
> the new format without generating an error, but it would be
> misinterpreting it.

> So in this situation, the only weapon XML gives us is to either change
> the element names or to change the namespace.

>> A simple @version or @type or @whatnot on the document element could
>> be used to convey the information that otherwise would be in the
>> namespace
> Only if you assume that you can change the clients at the same time,
> or that the changes you are in fact making fit in with the kinds of
> changes that were anticipated by that version attribute.

Experts have said that some thinking about versioning has to be done
before making versions. I think that's true.

To me, the understandable inertia of the existing client code base seems
to be the problem here; maybe combined with OOXML, of which I do not
know anything, having been specified (or implemented) without versioning
in mind.

To my naive eyes, the problem seems local to OOXML, not general to XML.

Okay, maybe OOXML is not alone in suffering from this problem. But it
is general to published interfaces of all kinds - not to XML.

Michael Ludwig

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