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Re: JavaScript (was Re: Whither XML ?)

  • From: David <dlee@calldei.com>
  • To: Uche Ogbuji <uche@ogbuji.net>
  • Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2010 10:21:34 -0500

Re:  JavaScript (was Re:  Whither XML ?)

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"Laugh while you can ... " :)
Yes I agree its amusing, but in the mobile space (which is really yesterdays desktop space ... and tomorrows 'your space' ) getting huge amounts of XML to devices is seriously painful using text protocols.

Seriously scratching head here.  So why on earth would you use XML?  Whatever happened to ASN.1?

Two use cases

1) The binary encoded XML format used was designed explicitly for extremly efficient parsing. The particular schema is a document-oriented, semi-display specialized schema which works very well at fast rendering of marked up documents (things like font changes, tables , indentation , bullets.. Think HTML-extremely-light).   Its *fast*, very fast.   On older mobile devices (think palm, 8MB devices) it was fast enough to render interactively with no visible delay.  
ASN.1 hasnt vanished, but XML really is a great fit for this technology.  Just not "text serialized xml".

2) The original source data was in XML. (before being converted to the format in #1), in a more data-centric format.  Big, and ugly.
An (abandoned) project was an attempt to do thiings "the server way" and just copy over the XML and do XSLT processing in a browser window to produce HTML on the fly.
This saved a huge amount of work on the server side (where debugging things and XML tools are really easy to use) an d instead moved the work to the device (in this case an iPhone).
As I predicted, while the concept 'worked' it performed like hell and had 10x the data transfer overhead and the rendering speed even on high-performance iPhones was diskmal.

But in both cases, the XML data model is really a good and appropriate model to use.'
ASN.1 isnt really a data model, and not particularly better or even as good as using XML.

Of course there are a zillion ways 'it could be done'.    Most of them perform horribly.

David A. Lee

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