Parser compliance

Steven R. Newcomb srn at
Mon Nov 22 16:04:48 GMT 1999

[Steve Newcomb:]
> >In my own mind, the purpose of XML, as a tool, is to get information (not
> >just data) from A to B.  I think of information as having two forms:
> >
> >(1) ready-to-run objects in memory, e.g. ready-to-roll DOM
> >
> >(2) interchangeable (but otherwise useless) serialized-into-characters
> >    XML

[Walter Underwood:]
> This doesn't begin to cover a lot of what XML is used for. It does
> cover document-like uses, but not the data-serialization uses.
> In the latter, folks want their application objects, not objects
> that accurately reflect the source document. They need something
> more like marshalling/unmarshalling code, going straight to the
> app-meaningful objects.

> Even for some documentation-like uses, a DOM is the wrong answer.
> Our search engine needs to extract text and store it in the indexes.
> Analyzing the documents in a stream (SAX) means handling bigger
> documents, using less memory, et cetera.

My main point is, I think, also yours: it causes unnecessary grief to
assume that the interchange structure of an XML resource needs to be
the same as, or even correspond to, the API to the information that
the XML resource carries.

I mentioned the DOM only as an *example* of ready-to-run objects; I
did not intend to say that the DOM is useful for every purpose.
Ready-to-run objects (including your indexes) are ready-to-run
objects, regardless of the process by which they were created.
Ready-to-run objects (whatever one may call them, and regardless of
how they are implemented) are manufactured by all applications of XML,
not just by some of them.


Steven R. Newcomb, President, TechnoTeacher, Inc.
srn at

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