half-baked parsers vs binary XML

David Megginson david at megginson.com
Mon Mar 29 20:35:09 BST 1999

Gabe Beged-Dov writes:

 > > The XML/SGML processing model is generally to walk through a document
 > > (as a collection of events or as a tree) and fire off handlers for
 > > different types of things.  Even a short to medium-length XML document
 > > can cause the handlers to be fired off many thousands of times, and if
 > > you're trying to handle hundreds of requests per second, that's going
 > > to cause problems with or without XML.
 > Are we talking about throughput or responsiveness?  It would be
 > useful to bring up some use-cases where XML processing can't be
 > employed using the default handler firing model and try to
 > understand what the alternatives are.

I'm talking about throughput -- using a persistent interpreter (like
mod_perl) rather than a CGI can solve most of the responsiveness

The difficulty is just that firing off so much Perl code is (in Perl's
current design) slow.  The original posting suggested using a binary
format because parsing XML with Expat is slow, but in fact, Expat and
the actual XML parsing turn out not to be a bottleneck.

All the best,


David Megginson                 david at megginson.com

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