[XML-SIG] Ugh! Why are DOM access methods spelled with a leading '_'?

Paul Prescod paul@prescod.net
Mon, 26 Jun 2000 08:55:21 -0700

[this is a retry...mailman error at the bottom]

"Fred L. Drake, Jr." wrote:
>   I don't recall the quoted text from the version of the
> recommendation I read, but it probably wasn't a recommendation at the
> time either!  (And I may have just missed it.)

I don't recall it either. I think that the fact that the DOM IDL is
generated from XML is merely an implementation choice.
> We might end up with a different result, but would it be as
> (potentially) useful?  I don't see how.  If the IDL is normative (and
> I don't see anything saying otherwise as I look at the document), then
> it seems it must be supported to be compliant.  Is the IDL
> non-normative, and I just missed the notation in the recommendation?

Let's be blunt: there is nothing about the DOM that is normative.
Extensions are encouraged, subsets are encouraged.  Langauge-friendly,
non-CORBA language bindings are encouraged (and provided). Here's the
answer I got when I asked about the Java binding (3!) years ago:

> This is a good question, that we have wrestled with in the WG.  Basically,
> we want to "hand code" the Java mapping because the IDL mapping is sure to
> be more obscure than we want, and add arguments that are relevant to CORBA
> RPC calls, but would be "overkill" for the DOM's primary purpose, i.e., a
> platform-independent API for dynamic scripting in HTML/XML browsers and
> editors.
> In short, Java is such an important target, we want to "hand-tune" the
> binding to  be maximally understandable and useable by our target audience.


> We are using the IDL as an abstract way of specifying interfaces, not as a
> way of defining distributed systems. Looking at the output of Sun's
> idltojava, it is very complex, and most of this complexity has nothing to
> do with what we are actually trying to accomplish. I think the best way to
> see this may be to download the idltojava program from Sun and compare its
> output with the code we created.


>   Agreed, which is why I don't like seeing several mappings in the W3C
> recommendation.  There should be only one, and the IDL is the right
> one for that.  If any of the languages don't have IDL mappings, that
> should be dealt with by either creating an interim mapping that does
> just enough, or by writing a DOM-specific binding in a separate
> document.

The DOM working group says that for Java and Javascript, usability is
more important than CORBA compliance. I think that the same goes for
Python. That's why I use and advocate attribute syntax.

 Paul Prescod - Not encumbered by corporate consensus
"Ivory towers are no longer in order. We need ivory 
networks. Today, sitting quietly and thinking is the 
world's greatest generator of wealth and prosperity."
 - http://www.bespoke.org/viridian/print.asp?t=140

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