[QOTD:Mike Champion] Infoset, Trees, XPath, Declarative Programming, and Why XML Syntax Doesn't Matter
“I do not think that JSON is going to “replace” XML; what I do see though is perhaps the dawning realization that the XML Infoset does not in fact have to be represented in angle-bracket notation”. I very strongly agree with that. ‘XML’ will come to mean the Infoset (or the XQuery data model, or tree views and XPath-like axes over object graphs) more than the bits on the wire format. That liberates XML tools to support JSON, various binary XML formats, HTML tag soup, etc. without insisting that everyone play by the XML syntax rules.
Michael Champion | February 28, 2007 07:59 PM
So I’ll just come out and say it: XML doesn’t matter!
Okay, yes it does. But not in the same way people seem to thing it does. In this regard, I agree 100% with what both Kurt and Mike (Mike’s comment stems from Kurt’s recent above-linked post) have to say on the matter.
In a follow-up comment a while back, I posed the following question,
So here’s my question to LandO’XML,
Tell me again: What’s wrong with binary XML?
Considering the fact that one can easily create tools (actually, they already exist! They’re called “parsers”…) in which can easily and quickly render the binary back into its text representation for all of the “View Source Generation” to peer into until our little view source heart is content — I’m sorry, but I’m just having a hard time trying to remember why the “text only” argument has absolutely ANY validity in ALL cases at the moment.
In many cases I think it does… But all? Well, somebody care to refresh my memory?
Kurt then followed-up with some deeper insight,
Binary XML is pretty much a foregone conclusion in terms of need, the only question is whether you can get enough people in the same room at the same time to agree on WHAT that binary format is going to look like. John Schneider (who not coincidentally was one of the key people, along with Mozilla architect Brendan Eich to develop E4X) also put together a binary XML format that now appears to be the best candidate, and once you write serializers to other XML formats (such as Java or .NET XML streams), then you can reasonably provide at least a front-gate portability until such time as Java or .NET create the corresponding general binary format into their parsers and processors.
To which I responded,
Hey, I’m all for it — and if the Java and .NET camps put some muscle behind it, providing a transparent conversion between text and binary, then what’s not to love about binary XML?
Bring on the binary, baby!!! WOOHOOOOOOOOOO!!!! :D
Of course, binary XML is only one example: JSON? HTML? Who really gives a rip! As long as I can traverse the Infoset in a standard language that is well understood (like XPath or any other language that folks might prefer), then what this really comes down to is the single most important trend that is somewhat silently taking place in the programming language background,
Declarative-styled Programming < "The Cross-Platform Programming Paradigm of the Champions" **
Okay, LandO'XML > She’s all yours… Rip her apart! (if you can ;-))
** As in “We Are The Champions“, not Mr. and Mrs. Mike Champion, though if I were to hedge my bets, I would venture to state that Mike probably feels the same, or at least similar, way.