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Re: XML Fever

From: Mike Norton <xsideofparadise@yahoo.com>
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2010 09:15:53 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <247523.47436.qm@web82404.mail.mud.yahoo.com>
To: Sean McGrath <sean.mcgrath@propylon.com>
Cc: Submit to W3C Egov IG <public-egov-ig@w3.org>
I don't know, I'm not sure s-expressions would fit in this case, as XML seem 
much more ubiquitous.  How common are s-expressions?
Michael A. Norton

From: Sean McGrath <sean.mcgrath@propylon.com>
To: Submit to W3C Egov IG <public-egov-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Wed, September 1, 2010 7:52:55 AM
Subject: Re: XML Fever


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 
> > 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 16:16:30 UTC

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