[LINK] XML is evil

Rick Welykochy rick at praxis.com.au
Fri Nov 7 21:20:43 AEDT 2008

Richard Chirgwin wrote:

> I've tried to see things in the light of standardisation, extensibility
> and power, and I can't. XML is evil.

It is truly awful. I eschew its use whenever possible.
OTOH, CSV has saved my neck many many many times.
A very useful tool that is always there by my side.

> If I buy the ABS CDs, I get hundreds of CSV files, which with a little
> script that took an hour to work out, once, I can import into a database
> in very little time at all. The data set is huge, but everything works
> easy-as.

There are now database add-ons that import XML directly into table. Perhaps these
tools even do the analysis of the schema for you. I don't know fer sure.

Google: xml database load

and read on.

> As boring-old-CSV, data is accessible and portable. XML is not. How did
> it get this way?

The WOW factor. How did the web get to point it is now?

My current pet peeve: more and more Facebook/etc "victims" are posting
message and tickels and scratches and what have you on my facebook account.
I then receive an email that I've been tweaked. Then I have to login to
facebook to see what the fuss is about. Then I find that I've had some
meaningless drivel written on my facebook wall. (I only setup a facebook
acct to find a few people).

Those newer to the net are certainly being roped in by the WOW factor
and have no idea how to efficiently communicate.

The same goes for XML. Why use a simple tried and true method like CSV
when the overblown monster-child of SGML called XML can be used instead?

On an e-commerce site I worked on, the output of each web request was
a gigantic mass of XML data which was then translated to HTML by a complex
series of XSLT definitions. The system began running really slow under
high demand so we eventually started dropping XSLT on the busy pages and
returned to the tried and true method of generating content with Real Simple

The K.I.S.S. principle will never die. It is just that some people have
never heard of it.


(returning to Link after a month of camping, holidaying and generally avoiding computers)

Rick Welykochy || Praxis Services || Internet Driving Instructor

When the power of love overcomes the love of power,
the world will know peace.
      -- Jimi Hendrix

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