(My) Feeling About SML
ldodds at ingenta.com
Wed Nov 17 11:02:10 GMT 1999
I've been mulling over this whole SML/XML discussion, trying
to get things straight in my head, and a decent summary.
I thought I'd share what I've concluded so far.
Heres where I'm at currently:
I'm not sure that parser speed/size is that much of an issue, even
for handheld devices, and if it is I think thats the sort of
problem thats likely to disappear quite quickly. Having an alternate
markup language (SML/WML) is likely to cause problems later which
are best avoided - limitations in computer processing power tend
to go away very quickly.
I'm also not convinced about the issues raised about simplifying
message passing for EDI and/or handhelds - as you can achieve
this with a suitably specified specification between the parties
involved. I've posted to this effect already.
So it seems to come down to complexity of the XML spec itself,
and that its hard to grok all the subtleties. Now this I can
understand (!) as I don't come from a markup background.
However it seems that this could be largely addressed with simpler APIs,
and better documentation?
I can also understand that specifying the required (XML) feature
subset of a document would be useful. Especially if specs start
appearing which start saying "thou shalt not use ..." - the
processor will need programmatic access to this information, especially
if we start to consider compound documents and/or XML fragments.
Again, however this 'required feature subset' is handled, it doesn't
necessarily mean that the XML 1.0 spec needs revision, it can be
layered on top of it. Or am I wrong?
An example : We've got some developers here who are starting to get into
XML development, and I've fielded a few questions - particularly
regarding well-formedness, validity, and the DOM API. The first
two were relatively easy to answer. Most of the rest of the
confusion seemed to be at the (DOM) API level - these developers have
been given an XML message format spec (which doesn't use any
XML nastiness) and just need to start writing some code
So this leads me to the conclusion that a simplified API, perhaps
coupled with a means to define the XML feature subset of a schema
would address 99% of the issues raised thus far.
But I keep getting the niggly feeling that I'm missing something.
"Never Do With More, What Can Be Achieved With Less"
---William of Occam
Leigh Dodds Eml: ldodds at ingenta.com
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