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Re: EXI: was : RE: what's missing in XML? What'scomi
- From: Stephen Williams <email@example.com>
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2012 00:15:32 -0800
On 1/3/12 8:58 AM, Richard Salz wrote:
[If] EXI is faster to generate, transmit, and parse
than human-readable XML....
then I think we should welcome it with open arms and adopt it
much more widely.
I think that's necessary, but not sufficient. We also need to consider
the risks of non-universal support, the burden of requiring this new
system on "xml infrastructure" and "application" developers (e.g., those
who work on implementations and those who would use it), the impact of
Moore's law on the need for this, alternative approaches such as profiling
the XML specification, and so on. Speaking just for myself, I find the
comparison with XML 1.0, 1.1, and "5th edition" interesting.
Liam posted that one of the reasons he supports EXI is that it
reduce(s|ed) the likelihood of a variety of non-interoperable islands.
Interestingly, IBM withdrew from the EXI working group because we were
concerned that EXI posed a real threat of doing exactly that, with not
enough consideration given to some of the items I mentioned above. This
note, and reference  from within it, are good places to start reading
if anyone is interested:
I was there too. IBM's position was not well stated. And it relied
on an experimental XML parser built custom for the purpose of
showing how fast you could parse text XML. As far as I know, it
never was released in any way and they declined to show or provide
code. It seemed to rely on some tricks that would not likely be
applicable to production code. My guess, purely speculation, was
that IBM killed their participation based on possible product impact
with their commercial development stacks or something similar. In
any case, the whole episode is not a credible reason to dismiss
EXI. Look for much smaller and faster XML parsers, sure. I wrote
one myself last year to have a nice library for Java or Android
apps: Ssx. (I suppose it is a good example of "desperate hacker"
mode: Sax in a day, my own tastes in a better-than-DOM API that
includes mini-XPath in a couple more. Optimized for Android/Java in
3 more days.)
There are a few features that aren't in EXI that should be, IMHO,
but EXI is pretty good.
Disclaimers: While part of the team that developed the IBM viewpoint, I
don't speak for IBM. It's been a long time since I've been involved with
XML core stuff at any detail.
STSM, WebSphere Appliance Architect
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