[LINK] XML is evil

Craig Sanders cas at taz.net.au
Thu Nov 20 09:48:57 AEDT 2008

On Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 04:09:54PM +1100, Richard Chirgwin wrote:

> The problem arises when someone who *doesn't* want to dabble in data
> formats, like me, finds himself confronted with 80 MB of XML document,
> and no particular help from the origin of the document to make it
> accessible to any tool other than where it was created. So it is, I
> agree with someone earlier, the originators of XML datasets who act like
> ninnies, by assuming that some "other" tool somewhere out there will
> take care of users and we can treat the dataset like an infinite sandbox.

they're not "acting like ninnies". they're using XML as a data transfer
tool, exactly as it is intended to be.

that assumption (i.e. that there will be some other tool) is the right
assumption to make. the ability to make and rely on that assumption is
part of the reason for XML.

The XML file itself contains enough meta-data (field-names, attributes,
etc) to parse it correctly and extract data even without the DTD (which
is, BTW, referred to in the XML file), and the associated DTD provides
further information for more sophisticated tools like editors and


craig sanders <cas at taz.net.au>

Anybody has a right to evade taxes if he can get away with it.  No citizen
has a moral obligation to assist in maintaining his government.
		-- J. P. Morgan [Speaking, no doubt, on behalf of his highly-
		   paid tax lawyers]

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