[SML] Numeric character references

Gavin Thomas Nicol gtn at ebt.com
Sun Nov 28 21:35:41 GMT 1999

> Minimalism *does* have long-term advantages to the end user
> because the tools they use will tend to be less buggy, delivered on time,
> etc.

There is probably some degree of truth to this, but I'm not sure
it would be orders of magnitude.

> More to the point, the higher-level abstractions and APIs built on
> top of SML will be easier to use because they don't have to hide
> as much underlying complexity as XML APIs do.

I really stronly disgree with this.

The DOM is a good example if a general-purpose/application independent
API. Very complex, with many special cases. In general though, an API,
by definition, is *application* specific. For a given application,
I cannot see why the API needs to reflect the underlying
implementation of the system. For example, I just implemented a
fairly complex security system that has calls like:

   Principal authenticate(String id, String key);

and it has 3 different implementations: one using XML, one using ODBC,
and another using LDAP. From an *application* perspective, these
differences are irrelevant.

You know that I was, and still am, in favor of having an API
other than the DOM which would allow *simpler* optimization for
performance. That doesn't imply the requirement for something like
SML to me though....

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