Subject: Re: The horror that is XML
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Fri, 08 Mar 2002 00:34:26 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Julian Stecklina <>
| The XML data looks very compressible to me.

  Precisely, and the nutjobs who clamor about XML at the input in order to
  get their fancy XSLT processing or whatever fail to understand that you
  can get their DOM nonsense out of just about anything.  It is really,
  really annoying that these people have to see <foo bar="zot">quux</foo>
  in the actual input source instead of just <quux> or whatever.  SGML even
  had some rudimentary support for this kind of "implicit" parsing, called
  "data tags".

  People with Common Lisp experience understand that you can parse just
  about anything into any sort of internal memory representation you want,
  and use a _different_ mapping from internal to external representation
  than from external to internal if you need or want to.  People without
  such experience seem to believe that there is somehow only _one_ of those
  representations that really matter, while the other matters not.  That
  XML has continued to make this mistake, despite strong arguments against
  this view over many years from several people, who even influenced the
  design of XML, is one of those tragedies that history books are for.  I
  am just sorry I live in a time and work with stuff that they will write
  about, eventually.  But at least I jumped ship before XML was born, so it
  was not my fault.  I have deniability, at the very least.  Whew!

  In a fight against something, the fight has value, victory has none.
  In a fight for something, the fight is a loss, victory merely relief.