"Why do we need all this XML stuff?"

"Why do we need all this XML stuff?"

Summary: That's one of the questions answered within Peter Flynn's excellent FAQ site, covering on everything you always wanted to know about eXtensible Markup Language. A good read on the fundamentals.

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TOPICS: Browser
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That's one of the questions answered within Peter Flynn's excellent FAQ site, covering on everything you always wanted to know about eXtensible Markup Language. A good read on the fundamentals.

By the way, Peter's answer to the question: "Why do we need all this XML stuff? Why not just use Word or Notes?" is that "Proprietary data formats, no matter how well documented or publicized, are simply not an option: their control still resides in private hands and they can be changed or withdrawn arbitrarily without notice."


Topic: Browser

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8 comments
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  • Data Exchange

    I believe 8 bit bytes was also supposed to eliminate problems with data exchange. Fat lot of good that did.

    And XML is proprietary? What about those recent MS XML patents? Patents are as proprietary as you get.
    rpmyers1
  • Very simple answer, we don't

    The fact that XML boasts of being "open" doesn't alter the fact that it is based on methods of data representation that have already been demonstrated to be totally inadequate in practice and are incoherent in theory.

    Openness is about methods that have a proper basis logic and mathematics and are open in respect of being based on a commonly agreed and scientifically well proven theory not on details of syntax.

    The relational model even in the corrupted form of SQL DBMSs has pretty much swept aside the hierarchical approaches that preceded it.

    XML is merely a reiteration of the hierarchical approach.

    Everything that can be represented in XML can be represented in the relational model. Many things that cannot be represented in XML can be represented in the relational model. Therefore XML is obsolete and redundant and should be discarded. It is fundamentally flawed in theory and experience with equivalent methods in the form of COBOL file descriptions and hierarchical DBMSs has shown it to be hopelessly inadequate in practice.

    Don't listen to the hype and do not risk your career supporting this nonsense!
    jorwell
    • Huh?

      [i] Many things that cannot be represented in XML can be represented in the relational model.[/i]

      Name one. Considering the presence of the id attributes and the fact that any RDBMS table can be serialized as XML, how can you make that statement?
      rpmyers1
      • There is more to an RDBMS than the tables

        Consider many to many relationships. See my reply to No Ax to Grind.
        jorwell
    • Your rant is old and BORING.

      Produce something better and then get back to us.
      No_Ax_to_Grind
      • I look forward to a reasoned defence of XML

        But nobody apparently can do better than saying "make this nasty man go away".

        If you can produce a reasoned defence of XML then you might have some credibility. How for example to you represent a many to many relationship in XML without duplicating data and without writing procedural code to query the data? I think you will find it is XML that is (conceptually) old and boring.
        jorwell
      • Corrective to marketing hype

        XML is probably the most unreasonably overhyped technology we have yet been exposed to.

        Either you can go along with the eXcitable Marketing Language or stage some kind of reasoned resistance.

        You seem determined to reduce the debate to the level of insults and yet you accuse me of ranting. I wonder who here is being unreasonable?
        jorwell
    • I tend to agree, but with a different take.

      I take a slightly different approach to this debate rather than who can represent data better.

      Data size:
      XML is usually more than 10 times bigger than using a simple CSV (Comma Separated Value) file or some binary database format like Excel or a SQL database. This is one of the cold hard facts. The fact that XML instantly raises processing, storage, and network requirements by an order of magnitude makes the CEOs of Intel, Cisco, and EMC very happy. There is a whole new market of products that deal with XML compression.

      Human readability:
      Every time the XML advocates say that the fact that XML uses plain old ASCII means XML is human readable makes me roll on the ground laughing. What they really mean is that it can be read with notepad, VI, or some other text editor or viewer. Try looking at an XML file and tell me it's "human readable". You're more likely to get a headache when you look at an XML file. I don't care what they say, I'd much rather look at data with something like Excel or even just a tab delimited text file in notepad if the data was simple enough. If it's more complex data from a relational database, I'd much rather look at it with a query analyzer. The concept of "human readability" for XML is laughable.
      george_ou