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2006-11-06 15:08:50.209814+00 by Dan Lyke 3 comments

Dave has been struggling with XML. Despite my occasional snide comments about XML I'm pretty facile with it, but recently I did some work on Yadis that involved lots of namespaces, and I realized that it's evolved to be a set of technologies in search of solutions. Yeah, there's lots of interesting stuff there, but it starts to descend into the ludicrous, and pretty soon I got to thinking "even if it's UTF-8, why aren't we doing this as "name: value" pairs separated by newlines?

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#Comment Re: XML made: 2006-11-06 18:00:54.232042+00 by: Jack William Bell

Many people agree with you (see xmlsuck.org ). For XML alternatives, I prefer JSON ( http://json.org/ ), but YAML seems equally simple ( http://www.yaml.org/ ).

My opinion? I like XML just fine; I am even reasonably proficient in XSLT and XPath. But if all you need is a lightweight data interchange format, XML is overkill for your needs. Moreover, if the only way you know of to process XML is to load it into a DOM and start navigating the tree, your code may end up ugly with a capital 'UGH'. (I mentioned XSLT and XPath above for a reason.)

Jack William Bell

#Comment Re: made: 2006-11-07 10:13:24.970837+00 by: DaveP

I was really missing key-value pairs, myself.

I'm still pondering just scrapping the "real" parsing and sucking what I need out of the stream with regexps. It'll be ugly and fragile, but I'd be done.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-11-07 13:06:41.203737+00 by: meuon

I'd never seen YAML, and I hope I don't have to, even their example made me think back to archaic data formats of the 1980's. XML is very useful, when used properly and kept sane. Just because it's a "natively supported" format for Flash, JavaScript and Java, it makes sense to use. I've also seen it used badly, a lot.

I still use a lot of name=value<cr> pairs, data|data|data<cr> and url encoded (post as well as get). Unless the implementation is very very strange, or there is insane amounts of data, I really don't care what format it is in. It's all just another markup language...