[LINK] XML isn't evil, just misunderstood

Marghanita da Cruz marghanita at ramin.com.au
Tue Nov 11 08:57:35 AEDT 2008

Richard Chirgwin wrote:
> Jim,
> I guess it's the misuse that gets me rather than the use ...
>> Doesn't anyone remember the good old days of trying to reverse engineer
>> maverick file formats that were different for every application?  When
>> data is in xml you don't have to spend time working out the element
>> order, where the commas and spaces go or if they're meant to be pipes or
>> whatever.  It might make a simple csv list more difficult to wrangle but
>> for any difficult data it's a godsend: you can read and write it with
>> just about any recent environment using library functions with little
>> work.
> That's the theory ... I guess I'll have to pass to Craig's comment about
> how often XML is done badly. The problem arises in two things, in my
> experience:
> (a) people that roll-their-own XML assume that the consumer of the data
> will be an expert, or that the "in house" XML reader actually works,
> which only holds true until the person maintaining the dataset forgets
> to pass on a change to the person maintaining the parser;
> (b) I can't, for the life of me, find a 'generic' parser - a stand-alone
> app that would (for example) take an arbitrary XML file and produce a
> table of "tags" so I can make sense of it. That would be a godsend ...
> but it seems my Googling is letting me down.

My experience of XML is limited to RSSFeeds, but I think what you're looking for 
is something to generate a DTD from a data file.

> #
> DTD Generator
> If you choose to generate an external DTD, the DTD generator will save the result to a file, and insert the !DOCTYPE declaration at the top of XML instance ...
> www.stylusstudio.com/dtd_generator.html - 24k - Cached - Similar pages
> #
> XML Tools : DTD, XML schema and XML document conversion software ...
> Supply a file name and click the "Generate" button to display output in a browser ... consistent XML interface to relational data and includes Web Services. ...
> www.hitsw.com/xml_utilites/ - 29k - Cached - Similar pages
> #
> Creating a Database Tag Definition (.dtd) File
> in SGML data. A .dtd file serves as an interpreter for the Open SiteSearch ... Use the following steps to create a .dtd file for your SGML source data. ...
> opensitesearch.sourceforge.net/docs/helpzone/dbb/dbb_50-00-11t.html - 14k - Cached - Similar pages
> #
> SPLINK » AsBeanGen - Generate value objects for DTD driven XML files
> 28 Jun 2008 ... AsBeanGen is a class generator application written in java which generates as3 data bean classes from DTD files. ...
> splink.org/?p=14 - 31k - Cached - Similar pages

Marghanita da Cruz
Phone: (+61)0414 869202

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