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The stupid question is the question not asked


by araqnid (Beadle)
on Sep 12, 2000 at 17:04 UTC ( #32094=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to XML overhyped (was: XML)

Way overhyped, I agree- but largely because it's misunderstood.

Istr once reading in a "quick explanation of XML" (can't remember where precisely it was, sorry) that the author made the point that programmers often design file formats without hardly thinking about it: configuration files, state files, document files...

The point is, XML allows for a common structure for most of these one-time formats that autmatically gives benefits such as:

  • common parsers, with strong syntax (well-formedness) checking
  • parsers in essentially every language out there
  • handles character escaping, and specifying character sets
  • well-defined way of expressing hierarchies
  • a way of specifying semantics in a machine-readable manner for futher checking (DTDs)

( as an example (or indeed a shameless plug), I wrote make_photos which uses XML as an input file- and imho it's perfectly suited, and much better than the text file I used for the script's first incarnation)

I think that most of the "XML Powering YOUR Website!" stuff applies to technology built on top of XML, not XML itself. Which is misleading, but fairly typical marketroid-speak.

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