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5229Re: [decentralization] Re: xml protocols and transport bindings

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  • Paul Prescod
    Feb 3, 2002
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      Bram Cohen wrote:
      > I'm afraid that that's the norm. I don't see what it buys you - two
      > unrelated protocols based on XML are no more compatible than two unrelated
      > protocols based on binary.

      True. But XML doesn't claim to be a protocol. What you gain by using XML
      is components that know how to work with it, parsers, validators,
      transformation engines, etc. The same would be true of SOAP if it tried
      to do one and only one thing well. But it tries to handle everything
      from a simple syntactic level right up to type and structure
      representation and then also be a true RPC protocol.

      > encoding - XML is, face it, a crappy encoding scheme. Just *what* are you
      > supposed to do with tags you don't recognize? Strip them out? Ignore
      > everything in the middle?

      That's one of the few things that SOAP adds to XML and the Net, a
      concept of mustUnderstand. As I've said, SOAP isn't bad for the logical
      equivalent of headers. It's nice that it allows them to be structured
      and has that mustUnderstand and actor stuff.

      > ... It doesn't even parse all that fast, produces
      > bloated encodings, and doesn't even do good binary encoding. And for
      > what? A little human-editability? In a format spoken between computer
      > programs? Who cares?

      You could say the same about HTTP, SMTP, MIME or FTP. I wouldn't
      disregard the importance of human readability for popularity. There is
      no good reason to put binary data in XML when it is so easy to use MIME.

      > type checking conventions - supposedly DTDs sort of, kind of can do this,
      > but it seems everyone just writes regular expressions.

      Or schemas.

      I don't know of people writing regular expressions. Easier to
      hand-validate the output of the parser than use regexps!

      Paul Prescod
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