Why do XML and OFX have subtle differences?

Giovanni Flammia flammia at sls.lcs.mit.edu
Sat Jul 12 06:20:23 BST 1997

As I get more and more interested in XML and its applications beyond
I wonder why Open Financial Exchange (OFX) and XML have at least one
subtle difference that bothers me. The one difference that I see is this
one. When the data
being transmitted is a simple list of of key-value pairs, XML would do
it like this:


or like this:

<userid value=name />
<userpassword value=mypassword />

(I personally prefer the <key>value</key> scheme, but that's just me)
while OFX would do it more parsimoniously as:


Otherwise, the tagging scheme is pretty much compatible (correct me if
I'm wrong).

I think it would be highly desirable that either XML incorporates the
simpler OFX listing
with no ending tag, or OFX comply to XML. It seems to me that OFX is
wide industry support, so I propose that XML somehow incorporate a
provision to
list simple key-value pairs like OFX. Of course, I would be happy also
if OFX was going
to add those </tag> ending tags that are missing from their DTDs.

This way, XML can ride the wave started by OFX,
and XML developers can build OFX compliant tools with no worry.

Giovanni Flammia
flammia at sls.lcs.mit.edu

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