[LINK] XML is evil

Rick Welykochy rick at praxis.com.au
Tue Nov 18 15:42:54 AEDT 2008

David Lochrin wrote:

> The same goes for CSV.  While it might be easier to read a simple CSV file directly compared with XML or ASN.1, I'll bet Richard, Rachel, and Rick all used an application such as OO or MS WORD (:-)!

I often create CSV data using perl/python scripts. This serves to export data from
one app into another.

I ask my clients to provide CSV data via a spreadsheet, which of course is
far easier for them to maintain that plain old text. It is trivial to convert
the spreadsheet to an actual CSV file for us in data import/export apps.

I tend to agree with David. Data representation and maintenance of same is
not a job for the uninitiated, regardless of the format. Most people I know
who use computers do not even know what a text editor it. The mention of
Notepad or Wordpad is greeted with blank stares. The mention of plain text
vs HTML or XML is way beyond them. The number of people who *try* to create
plain text documents in MS Word still astonishes me. We know who to blame
for that one :(

That said, if you ain't an expert and do wish to dabble in data formats as
stored in files, you'll most likely need a tool to help you. Not many of
us can read HTML and other markups.


Rick Welykochy || Praxis Services

Tis the dream of each programmer before his life is done,
To write three lines of APL and make the damn thing run.

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