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Re: XML Fever

From: Sean McGrath <sean.mcgrath@propylon.com>
Date: Wed, 01 Sep 2010 09:52:55 -0500
Message-ID: <4C7E68C7.8090904@propylon.com>
To: Submit to W3C Egov IG <public-egov-ig@w3.org>

The picture you describe is, I think, closer to the vision of 
s-expressions[1]. I.e. a single structural form that allows the encoding 
of both code and data. A form that takes the view that code and data are 
really the same thing.

XML has much in common with Lisp-like representations of s-expressions 
but XML is not a pleasant syntax to use when creating s-expressions. 
Having said that, Lisp syntax is not most folks idea of fun either, but 
the Lisp family have languages have tremendous lore in the area of 
combining data and code (behavior). See [2] and [3].

For interesting pushback on the comparison, see [4]


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-expression
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canonical_S-expressions#csexp_vs._XML
[4] http://www.prescod.net/xml/sexprs.html

Mike Norton wrote:
> Alas, after reading your insightful article, Erik, I am afraid my 
> diagnosis remains a mystery.   My condition falls into none of your 
> writ ailments (although I have been known to catch the Ontology 
> Overkill [see Patent Office, archives--search: Abandoned, 
> US11/333,642]).   So I will try to explain my condition to you, and 
> hopefully you can produce a name for it.  Somewhere along the way,  I 
> mashed up the properties of electrons and XML datasets in my head.   
> What I saw blended were orders of atoms, associated with electrons 
> adjacent them, behaving in peculiar union with entire ontologies. 
>  Datastreams became rivers of power, and power became the force which 
> broke the straw over the camel's back.   I saw--much like life 
> itself--electronic bits intertwined with the internet taking on 
> behaviors, a life of its own, until--BLAM!--the bit hit the fan.   
> Perhaps I am betrothed with Delusions of Granularity?    How 
> appropriate is XML as a segue way  to pure Artificial Intelligence, in 
> that its responses to online activities are directly proportional to 
> the physical environment?   
> Michael A. Norton
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* Erik Wilde <dret@berkeley.edu>
> *To:* public-egov-ig@w3.org
> *Cc:* Sean McGrath <sean.mcgrath@propylon.com>
> *Sent:* Tue, August 31, 2010 8:27:38 AM
> *Subject:* Re: Honest question
> looks like people out there are still suffering from XML fever...
> http://dret.net/netdret/docs/wilde-cacm2008-xml-fever.html
> i think sean is correct in saying that the problem may not be XML 
> itself, but the expectation that it solves all the hard problems which 
> are inherent to distribution and decentralization... cheers, dret.
> Sean McGrath wrote:
> > Mike Norton wrote:
> >> Am I the only one in the world who's been driven mad by XML? Links 
> appreciated....
> > Mike,
> >
> > No, you are not alone:-) The biggest problem is not related to details
> > of syntax etc. in my opinion. The biggest problem is the unrealistic
> > expectations placed on XML to solve the worlds interoperability and
> > semantic encoding problems. See http://xml.sys-con.com/node/40310.
> >
> > regards,
> > Sean
> >
> >
> >
> >
> -- erik wilde  tel:+1-510-6432253 - fax:+1-510-6425814
>       dret@berkeley.edu <mailto:dret@berkeley.edu>  -  
> http://dret.net/netdret
>       UC Berkeley - School of Information (ISchool)
Received on Wednesday, 1 September 2010 14:57:12 UTC

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