[LINK] XML isn't evil, just misunderstood

Richard Chirgwin rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Wed Nov 12 06:58:34 AEDT 2008

Thanks to all for suggesting tools to view XML. Firefox isn't much help
if it doesn't understand the XML; and regrettably, Craig, something's
not behaving in the XML2... toolset installation, but I will check out
the other tools and see where I end up.


Marghanita da Cruz wrote:
> 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.
> <snip>
> 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

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