Scripting and XML

Ingo Macherius Ingo.Macherius at
Sun Oct 19 19:49:13 BST 1997

> Date:          Sun, 19 Oct 1997 12:45:04 -0400 ()
> From:          Rasmus Lerdorf <rasmus at>
> Subject:       Re: Scripting and XML

> > So PHP/FI could parse correctly before, but probably not 
> > after delivery.

> I recognize that there is really no way to ensure that the final output
> will be valid XML. 

Yes there is: That's to make PHP/FI a conforming XML application. By 
now it is a turing complete, server side language that just allows 
one to omit a "print" or "echo" statement before HTML markup if 
outside a PI.

If PHP/FI itself would parse documents than rather replacing string A 
with string B, there would be full control over output. I understand 
that doing so would break backward compatibility.

> The whole point of a server-parsed html-embedded language is that it is
> dynamic.

The Roxen Server, which basically allows server-side processing 
similar to PHP/FI, uses specialized tags. This is dynamic, but one 
could give a "PHP/FI DTD". If it's modular, it can be mixed with any 
XML DTD. Whatever becomes of the namespaces/architectural forms 
discussion, it would work with any DTD.

What can be done with PHP/FI that can't be done with XML is 
interacting with the httpd and external databases. Inserting text or 
do simple computations, will become the domain of client side 
processing languages. And don't forget there are entities with XML, 
so mere string relacement is no longer a challange. And because 
entities could be served by URL that are CGI (or whatever), they can 
become quite dynamic.

PHP/FI used to solve many problems that existed due to shortcomings 
in HTML. Now with XML, many of those are gone. But XML uses 
different ways than PHP/FI did. IMHO there are two possible 
solutions: Redesign PHP/FI to become XML compliant (which is not 
backward compatible), or just see it as a special Apache 
scripting language (where I like mod_perl more).

Ingo Macherius // L'Aigler Platz 4 // D-38678 Clausthal-Zellerfeld
mailto:Ingo.Macherius at
Information!=Knowledge!=Wisdom!=Truth!=Beauty!=Love!=Music==BEST (Frank Zappa)

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