Re: [xsl] Linus and XML

Subject: Re: [xsl] Linus and XML
From: Wendell Piez <wapiez@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 02 Dec 2003 14:10:15 -0500
At 11:23 AM 12/2/2003, Peter wrote:
I think what Linus was all het up about was the inappropriate use of xml, for the example he gave xml (even if done correctly) is overkill. You want to read a small configuarion file? Load up a monster xml parser just to extract the eight bytes you require.

I am coming to regret that I used xml to store knowledgebases for my expert system, parsing the file adds a not inconsiderable startup cost to the program and amounts to half the code I have to maintain. The xml file itself is only 30%-40% data and the rest is xml markup.

Trouble with a hammer is that everything looks like a nail - and I have been using xml too much.

Exactly. I doubt that even in his "het up" state, Linus would argue against XML as an alternative to opaque, proprietary binary formats for complex documentary data ... which is to say, the main application domain for which markup languages were developed in the first place.

If your dataset is regular, markup languages do much less for you. A standard syntax is still a Good Thing, but the balance really shifts when weighing the tradeoffs. (And at the lower levels of an OS, classic arguments for platform-independence really don't wash.)

Let's get back on topic? Notice how XSLT really shines when asked to do things with irregular data, and in systems where a distinction is useful between "content" and its "format"; if the structures in the source are perfectly regular and there will never be any reuse or "repurposing" (awful word) of the data set, XSLT just seems like more angle brackets.


====================================================================== Wendell Piez mailto:wapiez@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Mulberry Technologies, Inc. 17 West Jefferson Street Direct Phone: 301/315-9635 Suite 207 Phone: 301/315-9631 Rockville, MD 20850 Fax: 301/315-8285 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Mulberry Technologies: A Consultancy Specializing in SGML and XML ======================================================================

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