Serializations and data structures (was Re: Topic Maps
cbullard at hiwaay.net
Thu Nov 26 05:21:34 GMT 1998
david at megginson.com wrote:
> Fortunately, the XML community already agrees on at least 75% of what
> should be in an XML data model (partly driven by past SGML
> experience), so the different standards are not so far out of line as
> they might be; nevertheless, I assert that the choice is not between
> XML syntax or an XML data model, but between an implicit or explicit
> XML data model.
> Syntax is worthless without a data model; a data model is unusable
> without syntax. If you leave either one unspecified, people will
> start inventing their own versions (sometimes with good results, and
> sometimes with bad).
Wise, David, and thank you. Please tell me the difference between
and implicit and explicit XML data model?
Geez. Ask a simple question and come back to the usual Gorgon's Head
argument that paralyzes but never gets the job done. Almost as bad
as sitting through Cringely's Crummy Tour of Computer History.
Bad. No wonder Excite and Bill the G have all the money and
all we have is this "More Meta Than Thou" T-shirt.
The issue: we have multiple notations for fundamental media types,
heck, multiple syntaxes. Kinda noisy for the authors. If content
is the real king, then making it perform, making it easier to
author, making it lifecycle-worthy should be on the top of the
list for the standardsMakers. OTW, what good are they? (no smiley,
needed i hope)
To operate in this bandwidth-starved email system we use, some
of the more render-heavy, performance hog media types need to
migrate away from clear text player formats to binaries. But,
hey, everyone out here knows how to compile and *HTML Programmers*
not withstanding, most of us can accept that. So far so good.
But clear text is how the humans author for the medium
in many cases, and if you want to get that content off a
dead iron horse and onto a shiny new one, it better live
to make the change. Dull stuff. Ought to write a book.
I think most of us know that syntax vs data structures is a
red herring. The APIs have a place as well if you want to
be able to code to the same framework twice. No problem.
When virtual machines grow up and can lift the weight of
their dads, we'll all use those. No problem.
XML is a dandy subset of SGML. Yes, Tim, I think most of us
were attracted to SGML because we understood that
markup and a schema are the best way to be both computer and human
and to as Charles said, protect information from folks like us.
What we do in SGML we can do in XML just a little easier (no, not a
lot, a little but every little bit helps). This is not
at issue. However, all the world wide web is not XML
and may never be. LISP may someday emerge as the Man
in The Mask from the prison of obscurity. Fine, but
not this week or next.
What is the best way to create clear text standards when the
clear text is not going in the packets? Do architectures
have any advantages over XML DTDs or the schema du jour for this
kind of application where it may be the case that multiple
clear text node/property standards have to play on the
Extra points for staying on the topic and out of Shakespeare
and the rest of the legion of Dead Software Society favorites.
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