Is there anyone working on a binary version of XML?
Stephen D. Williams
sdw at lig.net
Thu Mar 25 22:04:36 GMT 1999
"Simon St.Laurent" wrote:
> At 03:36 PM 3/25/99 -0500, DuCharme, Robert wrote:
> >>I know, I know, this is anathema to what many of you feel is the
> >>essence of XML, and I agree to a point.
> >It's not so much about feelings, as about contradicting the XML spec.
> >Applying XML concepts to a binary data format sounds interesting and
> >potentially useful, but it wouldn't be XML.
> One of these days I'd really love to stop talking about what is and isn't
> XML, though I know it's fun, and start talking about what we can do with
> XML and XML-like structures, whether they are SAX event flows, DOM trees,
> or binary formats that build on an XML foundation.
> We might even get some real work done - and it might even be fun.
I agree with the sentiment Simon.
I'm required (or am requiring myself) to get a lot of real work done very quickly in the next
6 months hence my focus...
Semantically, I am talking about using XML. After parsing and creating a DOM tree or SAX
events, you no longer have XML but a data structure semantically equivalent to an XML
document. Another way to think about what I'm proposing is that it is a cache of the data
structures produced from processing an XML document, cast in a openly documented data
structure that is already flattened and ready for IO.
In fact, this is how I arrived at this design after following a few other design constraints
and observations. Of course from there it is a short stop to say that you can throw away the
'external' XML representation if you can recreate it from XMLb.
My scheme makes parsing of XML a non-issue. If I only have that advantage within my closed
system, so be it, converting to and from XML for external purposes is in fact what I intend to
In my case, I'm architecting a high speed clustering system, primarily targeted at Linux/Unix
and Java. In this kind of system of course you are splitting applications into many servers.
Of course the communication between those nodes is really internal application communication,
the equivalent of that DOM tree, so it makes sense to optimize it. Think of it this way,
you'd seldom design a large app where every method needs to parse the XML text block passed to
it to get a DOM tree (or SAX events) if the calling method has a DOM tree that it could just
> Simon St.Laurent
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