[FoRK] Open Link: Objects+piping (and better)+real loose coupling

Gavin Thomas Nicol gtn
Mon Oct 3 18:33:21 PDT 2005

On Oct 3, 2005, at 4:38 PM, Stephen D. Williams wrote:

> We've argued out the *XML thing to death.  I believe that it's the  
> semantics and idioms of XML that are important, not the encoding as  
> primacy.

That's the problem though... XML is a syntax, and nothing more.  
People keep *claiming* it's more, but it's not.

> Anything that substantially is in the mold of XML should be related  
> to XML.


> I think that everthing should be roundtrippable through XML 1.x but  
> not limited by it.


> I've decided that three modes need to exist: text-only self- 
> described (just like text XML), typed data self-described (XML-like  
> with typed binary payloads, int, IEEE, etc.), and meta-structured  
> transformation into various levels of non-self-described  
> representation where the structural and typed description has been  
> externalized into an interpretable metadata object.  All three are  
> needed.

They're all different shades of the same problem, and yes, I tend to  
agree that depending on the application one of the three could be  
more useful than just one for all applications. The latter two, IMHO  
generally (at least at an API level) tend to look similar.

> I don't believe in fundamental strucuture typing.

I think it depends on the application, but in general, for *data* I  
prefer "type by assertion" rather than "intrinsic typing". Here of  
course, "data" depends on what you're looking at, but in general, the  
tighter-bound you get, the more likely I would be to use strong  
typing (i.e. write objects rather than generic manipulators) because  
it would tend to expose the details of the data more clearly.

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