XML is boring (was Re: coming clean with the SGML crowd)

Samuel R. Blackburn sblackbu at erols.com
Fri Sep 11 13:20:14 BST 1998

It all depends on how you look at it. If you agree on reserving
a tag name, then you can express type information in the same
syntax as XML. For example:

<description>User supplied name of the event</description>
<description>Number of seconds since 1970-01-01</description>
<description>MD5 checksum of the NAME and TIME fields</description>

Granted, this is a simplistic method but all it is meant to do is
supply a human reading the XML enough information to write
a validation routine for the data. IMHO you cannot express
enough information in a generic fashion (i.e. DTD or the above
scheme) that will allow data validation in a generic fashion.
It is easy to validate the simple things like "this is a number"
or "this is a date" but validating things like "this is an MD5
checksum of the previous two fields" is impossible.


-----Original Message-----
From: Andy Dent <dent at highway1.com.au>
To: Samuel R. Blackburn <sblackbu at erols.com>; Peter Murray-Rust
<peter at ursus.demon.co.uk>; xml-dev at ic.ac.uk <xml-dev at ic.ac.uk>
Date: Friday, September 11, 1998 6:51 AM
Subject: Re: XML is boring (was Re: coming clean with the SGML crowd)

>At 6:28 PM +0800 11/9/98, Samuel R. Blackburn wrote:
>>Looking at XML from a data centric
>>perspective, there are things in it that are worthless, DTD's
>>for example.
>I disagree with this - DTD's for example will help us build a database
>schema to contain the XML. Otherwise we'd have to scan a large XML file to
>deduce the structure then rescan to store into the database.
>This is a wholly data-centric viewpoint.
>Andy Dent BSc MACS AACM, Software Designer, A.D. Software, Western
>OOFILE - Database, Reports, Graphs, GUI for c++ on Mac, Unix & Windows
>PP2MFC - PowerPlant->MFC portability

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