XML

Tim Rowe tim at remove_if_not_spam.digitig.cix.co.uk
Fri Jun 20 21:25:32 CEST 2003


On Fri, 20 Jun 2003 22:24:54 +0400 (MSD), Roman Suzi <rnd at onego.ru>
wrote:

>I am trying to find use of XML in my doings for 2 years already and every time
>I find XML not appropriate for the task. XML is human readable but I think it
>is still hard to edit XML files by hand. This is not the problem with
>machine-generated/read data but other, adhoc formats (like plain Python) are
>even less problem. What is the niche of XML? I do not believe it makes
>interapplication communication more robast (I think it's of the same quality
>as OOP helping code reuse). Dealing with XML requires more effort than dealing
>with ASCII texts by grep or re.search().

I think the niche of XML is that it comes with so many ready-rolled
parsers and manipulation tools.  Every time I invented an ad-hoc
format I had to invent the parser from scratch.  When I started using
XML -- for my postgrad project -- I stopped having to reinvent the
wheel.  Yes, for simple applications I would still use ASCII with sed
& awk (it would have to be /really/ simple for grep to do the job!)
but for even moderately complex data I find it a great help.  Oh, and
the keyboarding isn't a problem -- I automatically generate
everything, and rarely tweak it by hand.

I think that like every "flavour of the month" it's been used for
entirely inappropriate stuff, and it's not surprising that in such
cases it hasn't shown any benefit. It happens with all IT fads; in
most cases it dies down and people start using the tool or technique
where it actually offers value.  In some cases the negative reaction
to the hype is so extreme that it all but kills it off, which can be
sad.




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