Roll-Your-Own Parsers (was: Re: What Clean Specs Achieve)

Simon St.Laurent simonstl at
Thu Feb 11 13:52:06 GMT 1999

At 12:05 AM 2/11/99 -0500, Bill la Forge wrote:
>Anyway, the point here is that a reasonable approach to dynamic configuration
>should give you a very small footprint when only selected features are used.
>This in contrast to a does-everything monolithic parser. And as the specs 
>mature, it seems likely that the larger companies represented at the W3C
>have no reason at all to keep the specs small and lightweight--cumbersom
>specs nicely eliminates much of the competition! 
>So it seems the choice is clear... expect your parsers to grow till they
have more
>features than MS Word, or take a configurable approach which allows the
>to select the capabilities necessary for the job at hand.

It looks like someone else may be stepping in with possible disruption for
the roll-your-own process: Sun. From the Infoworld cover story

>"We had to let the dust settle and determine what makes sense for XML so 
>we have a clear path," said Nancy Lee, product manager for XML at Java 
>Software, a Sun division in Mountain View, Calif. 
>The company's next step is to provide a standard Java API to support XML, 
>Lee said. The API will go through the Java Community Process, a multivendor 
>standards process for Java technologies. 

Not to pick on Sun, but it's still pretty unclear how open their process is
really going to be.  Do we really need another 'multivendor standards
process' to tell us all what to do our information?  How about building on
what we've already got, and keeping it at least as open (very for SAX, not
as open for DOM) as it's been so far?

With any luck, we'd be able to keep the bloat to a minimum, at least.

Simon St.Laurent
XML: A Primer / Building XML Applications (April)
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