[XML-SIG] Reconsidering the DOM API

Benjamin Saller case@appliedtheory.com
Wed, 28 Jun 2000 13:18:44 -0400 (EDT)

Today, Paul Prescod wrote:

    Benjamin Saller wrote:
    > ...
    > In many ways the
    > DOM removes the human readable advantages of XML because code no longer
    > reflects that the objects are human readable and carry with them domain
    > knowledge.
    The DOM gives you access to element type names. You choose whether to
    use that feature or not. That's not to say that I am against extensions
    to the DOM that make the XML-structure more central to the code but it
    is hardly fair to take a single example that does not use attribute
    names and extrapolate to all DOM code.

Thats true, I shouldn't extrapolate. I am just trying to express my
concerns that code written while in the head-space of the problem prolly
wont make sense a month after rollout. 

Perhaps I am being too pessimistic, but in my experience if
a[0][1][0]['foo'] makes sense at the time you are building the code and
its half the length of the attribute names option people will take the
shortcut. I just know that *I* am not able to go back to that later and
work with it. If its just a matter of discipline to always use the more
descriptive variants so be it. I just know a lot of schedule pressure
driven programmers who just try to 'get it done'.

Then again I work at a SEI level 0 shop and thats just symptomatic. The
higher the bar to entry (and re-entry) the more I am willing to look at
changes to the approach. That is why I write in Python now :)

I personally have lost the ease of use vs. value of use debate too many
times. I don't want/expect the DOM to go away. Its powerful and
flexible. Its also somewhat more complex than the common case seems to
need, but I could be wrong.    

Benjamin Saller                                     <case@appliedtheory.com>
Technical Strategist                                AppliedTheory
	Where tire hits pavement on the Information super-highway,	
			 that's where my head is...