Is there anyone working on a binary version of XML?
Stephen D. Williams
sdw at lig.net
Thu Mar 25 23:12:54 GMT 1999
This is not what I meant.
XML has mechanisms to store binary data as characters using all the standard
What I'm talking about is using data that is structured in a directly
addressable way (think pointers, arrays, indexes, offsets) to represent the
structure and content of an XML tree. My actual proposal is a bit more
complicated than that because I want other types of optimizations for in-memory
processing, but that is one of the roots of the idea. In other words, after
loading the tree would be directly addressable (SAX or DOM) without any parsing
(or very limited steps). A typical server might in fact support both XML and
XMLb queries and responses.
"Samuel R. Blackburn" wrote:
> XML in its current form cannot handle "binary" data at all.
> At best, you would have to convert non-text data to text.
> This is usually done via base64.
> You could create your own version of XML that could easily
> handle non-text data. All you need do is add one attribute to
> any XML element that provides the length (in bytes) of the
> non-text data. For example:
> <GIF bin:length="4096">GIF89a[4090 non-text bytes]</GIF>
> The "bin:length" attribute could tell your parser to stop parsing
> and store the 4096 bytes following the closing > of the element.
> After the 4096 bytes have been stored, start parsing again.
> The down side of this approach is:
> 1) bin:length would have to be agreed on by all binary parsers out there
> 2) binary XML files cannot be parsed by non-binary aware parsers
> (in other words, every parser in the world today)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net>
> To: xml-dev at ic.ac.uk <xml-dev at ic.ac.uk>
> Date: Thursday, March 25, 1999 2:04 PM
> Subject: Is there anyone working on a binary version of XML?
> >I know, I know, this is anathema to what many of you feel is the essence of
> >XML, and I agree to a point.
> >I have come to feel however that there is room for a "works-as-if" binary
> >analogue to text based XML. Something that is totally subservient to the
> >standard and has exactly equivalent features, but that is highly efficient
> >for processing at all levels and easily converted to and from text based
> >In using XML in real-world application work and designing future
> >infrastructure that is highly scalable and efficient while making use of
> >XML, I have come to the conclusion that I need a standard way to deal with
> >an XML analogue that is binary. There are a multitude of performance
> >problems that this solves, not only in parsing and exporting, but
> >of related data inside applications.
> >Before I make all the details and ideas public, I would like to know if
> >there is any serious precedent directly dealing with XML.
> >My design has highly efficient Java processing in mind, but is not specific
> >to any particular language.
> >Compression is a secondary, but associated issue.
> >OptimaLogic - Finding Optimal Solutions
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43392 Wayside Cir,Ashburn,VA 20147-4622 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax 5Jan1999
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