XML API specification

David Durand dgd at cs.bu.edu
Fri Feb 28 19:11:42 GMT 1997

At 11:53 AM -0600 2/28/97, Len Bullard wrote:
>David Durand wrote:
>> I see XML-groves and XML-API as parallel and needing to be in synch. I
>> don't see either as having to depend on the other, though, and frankly,
>> given the relative penetration of groves and Java into the "global
>> developer consciousness", I don't see groves as that high a priority.
>If relative penetration is important, spec it in COBOL or C.
>This kind of argument went on in VRML and was wisely rejected.
>The commitment to a CORBA IDL is a commitment to a syntax for the spec
>and not a lot else.

If Gavin's information is correct (and I assume it to be so) this is false.
IDL means that we get language-specific bindings for several languages
including Java and C++, simply by applyiing an automated tool. So there are
concrete technical advantages to using IDL, though we must apply those
tools for the programmers, so that I don't have to find an IDL tool to use
XML with my Java codebase.

> The commitment to JAVA for implementation
>is only a commitment to a slow language.

Again, verifiably false. There is no reason that native-code Java compilers
cannot exist. Languages aren't slow -- implementations are. Something you
learn sometime in your first 2 years of college...

> The commitment to it
>in the spec is a commitment to SUN.  That should never be
>a part of the spec.  It should be something the spec can
>be bound to.  It will anyway, but XML's future is in many
>languages and platforms.

An argument for IDL, against Java (and one that I made, by the way, so that
we appear to be in raging agreement).

>Groves, as Richard Light pointed out, at the very least
>gives us authoritative names for things.

Which is good _if_ the names are meaningful to the audience, and is bad if
they make things harder for people. I agree that _gratuitous
incompatibility_ with grove terminology would be bad, but I think we should
evaluate it on its inherent merits, and give it an epsilon of advantage
(for being a standard) over any equivalent non-standard terminology. On the
other hand if it seems to create confusion we should deep-six it without

> As Joe English
>and Gavin Nicol have pointed out, the bindings here are

Great, then in the worst case, we need (at most) a "grove dictionary" if
groves turn out to be confusing. Naturally, if they are not confusing we
should use them.

> If that is the case, then groves-IDL-Whatever(Java, C++, etc)
>is the right thing to do.

Well, something certainly is the right thing to do (we hope). Care to be
more precise?

I now incline to IDL, with compiled-into-Java and compiled-into-C++
versions for IDL ignorati like myself...

  -- David

David Durand              dgd at cs.bu.edu  \  david at dynamicDiagrams.com
Boston University Computer Science        \  Sr. Analyst
http://www.cs.bu.edu/students/grads/dgd/   \  Dynamic Diagrams
--------------------------------------------\  http://dynamicDiagrams.com/
MAPA: mapping for the WWW                    \__________________________

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