CDATA by any other name... (was The raw and the cooked)

David Brownell db at Eng.Sun.COM
Fri Nov 6 11:44:39 GMT 1998

Paul Prescod wrote:
> David Brownell wrote:
> > To put it differently:  is there really room for another API
> > to represent XML structure?
> >
> > I tend to think that DOM, warts and all, is "good enough" for
> > most purposes.  And for those other purposes, I suspect that
> > no standard API could suit.
> I find it odd that we can have "standard APIs" for the full complexity of
> relational data, and probably eventually for object database data, but it
> is perceived to be impossible to do the same for the parse tree of XML
> data. I mean it is just annotated tree structures: it shouldn't be rocket
> science (but neither is it trivial).

If it's just annotated tree structures, I'd say that's what DOM is for!
Or should be, warts and XML Data Model conformance aside.

Why would I say no "standard API" would exist for the rest?  There are
thousands (conservatively!) of data/object models specialized to each
application.  While a tree (or grove, or graph) would seem isomorphic
with any such model, it's not necessarily optimal for any one of them.

Similarly, "pure data" is a model many of us have been moving folk away
from over the last decade.  It's critical for interoperability between
system components (e.g. over the web, with XML!), but raw data must be
joined with methods (or other code) before it's used.  Ergo, "objects"
instead of APIs to data; classes not structs. 

- Dave

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