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RE: [ Revision #2 ] 15 elementary truths about XML

  • From: "David Lee" <dlee@calldei.com>
  • To: "'Costello, Roger L.'" <costello@mitre.org>, <xml-dev@l...>
  • Date: Thu, 3 Nov 2011 08:01:51 -0700

RE:  [ Revision #2 ] 15 elementary truths about XML
First, my +(N+1) on accepting all honest XML related posts on this list
regardless of our opinion of them.  I personally have enjoyed some of the
side effects triggered by the questions Roger has raised in the past.    I
personally do not consider him a "Troll".
A "Troll" is someone who maliciously intends to disrupt a list by feeding
incisive or annoying commentary with the intent of annoying people or better
yet incite others to annoy each other ('flame war').     Well enough of that

Now for my own;  I disagree with this slightly:

>> 2. As noted above there are no characters in a computer, only bytes.
Thus, "An XML document is a sequence of characters" actually means that an
XML document is an abstraction >> of the underlying sequence of bytes.

To me this implies XML has to be both 
A) On a computer
B) In a text serialized form in bytes

I'm actually not sure since I haven't reread the specs with this in mind but
my opinion is that neither are requirements.

A)  If I print or write on paper or whiteboard "<XML/>" is that not still
"XML" ?  I don't expect a "XML Processor" to be able to read it, but is not
"not XML" just because its in some other media ? And not represented by
bytes and bits.

B) There is a large body of practice where XML never ends up in text
serialized form in 'bytes'.    Not referring to Infoset or XDM.   But rather
in-memory "strings" of text serialized XML.
Say a Java program dynamically creates an XML text message, in a Java String
and parses it in memory.   No where has it been converted to any encoding in
Yet it is still "XM".

So I would say more clearly "XML Is an abstraction of a sequence of
characters" but not necessarily is there 'underlying bytes'.

David A. Lee

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