[XML Bastard] XML Sucks! Fork You! No! Fork Yourself!

From: Adam Rifkin (Adam@KnowNow.Com)
Date: Fri Mar 02 2001 - 15:14:59 PST

Looks like Tom forgot to take his Zoloft/Welbutrin cocktail today...


Posted by Tom Bradford, 3/2/01 at 11:53:40 AM.

I don't ever remember SGML being so complex. Yes, DTDs could get very
complex, and the language itself allowed you to build very complex documents
that were impossible to parse without a DTD, but beyond that, what was so
hard about it? It gave birth to the Web, for Christ's sake, so it had to
have been useful for something, right? Right?

XML was going to be the promise of a new generation of internet
applications. All of the 'bad' things about SGML were going to be stripped
from it to make it easily usable for humans, and easily parsable by
processors. On top of that, it was going to be extensible. Extensible, how?
Like SGML? I think some people have taken the "Extensible" part of the name
way too seriously, and what was the great promise for the next generation
internet, has now become the great joke.

There are way too many competing and useless standards, and I'm not talking
about standards like ebXML, BizTalk, and RosettaNet, because those are all
schema-based standards, which don't really change what XML is, or (for the
most part) force auxiliary technologies down your throat that you don't want
to have to deal with.

There are more than a dozen schema languages. That's not a bad thing. Choice
is good, BUT, the W3C is attempting to weave their schema language and other
technologies like XPath into just about every new specification that they
produce, which means that if you want to use a competing schema language (or
hell, even a DTD) along with the highly debated XQuery, you have to deal
with XML Schemas as well.

WHY?! Why should I be force-fed a big pile of sh!t that I have no interest
in? It's like going to a diner, asking for a cheeseburger and having to pay
for the cheeseburger, a hot dog, and everything else the cook had on the
grill at that time. It's wrong. The dependency madness will only lead us to
a scalability nightmare in the not-too-distant future, and I for one want
nothing to do with that.

So what would be so bad about forking XML? It's already been done with the
various minimalist offshoots of it. It certainly couldn't hurt so long as we
stuck with XML 1.0 as the foundation. Personally, I'd get rid of Entities
and DTDs. I'd also rework namespaces because as they stand right now, they
do more harm than good. But whatever.

I think the major problem is that we've lost sight of the vision behind XML,
and we've forgotten what the goal of architecting solutions is. Don't
introduce complexity to solve 100% of the problem set. Complexity only
introduces more problems. Simple solutions that address as much of the
problem set as possible without introducing more problems should be the
goal. That hasn't happened yet. To a degree, XML is now more complex than
SGML was. If we continue down this route, XML will become SGML, and in a
couple of years, someone will decide to create XML all over again.

But who FoRKin' cares, right? Creating stuff for the sake of boosting one's
ego is cool, isn't it? Look, buddy, if you make my life harder, I don't
think you're cool. I think you're an asshole. Now go write a friggin' thesis
and get out of my face.


Nasty, nasty boys don't mean a thing. Nasty, nasty boys don't ever change. -- Janet ("Miss Jackson if you're nasty")

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