[LINK] XML is evil

Rick Welykochy rick at praxis.com.au
Fri Nov 21 09:55:17 AEDT 2008

Richard Chirgwin wrote:

> "Unrecognised tag" was the error, IFIRC...
> Yes, I realise this is bad implementation, rather than a problem
> intrinsic to XML.


>>> while someone in another part of the development team says "let's add a new
>>> tag", and the parser doesn't work;
>> why would the parser stop working?

This sounds like it was a validating parser, i.e. it had
a copy of the DTD and enforced it. The DTD must be updated
if new tags are added.

XML can be forced to parse and do its job in a case like this
by either turning off validation or hiding the DTD from the parser.

BTW: this thread makes me think of a new one:

    Subject: [LINK] Proprietary formats are evil

At least XML is an open format and you *can* figure out what is
in the data with a bit of effort.

Richard, imagine if the data you had downloaded was in Lotus 1-2-3
format (c. 1980's). How would you even read it?

Be aware that programs like Excel *might* import legacy formats like
Lotus 1-2-3, but the provider of the software to accomplish this task
can drop such support from their software suite at their whim and leave
you high and dry.


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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