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RE: Comments on XBC Use Cases

From: Bullard, Claude L (Len) <len.bullard@intergraph.com>
Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2005 14:38:46 -0500
Message-ID: <15725CF6AFE2F34DB8A5B4770B7334EE07206DD7@hq1.pcmail.ingr.com>
To: 'Norman Walsh' <Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM>
Cc: public-xml-binary@w3.org

Yes.  Same here.  I reprocessed ATOS SGML docs 
into HTML and XML in very short order in '95/96.  As a lifecycle 
enhancer, markup is quite effective (putting aside the 
problems of semantic associations to GIs).

Human to human communications, and communications that 
may require inspection to verify or validate benefit 
greatly from text representations. Cut and paste 
operations, debugging by hand, etc., are better 
in plain text. My experience is (from VRML), that 
one keeps the document in that format until satisfied, 
then compiles it/binarizes/zips.

I don't think of a binary as a replacement for XML. 
I think of it as an alternative encoding for those 
cases where performance or size do matter.

That is why X3D has three encodings, all with equivalent 
information properties, and each optimized for some 
quality the designers thought critical.  I fought 
the idea of three encodings, but so far, we don't 
have any evidence that they have created lifecycle 
problems (just implementation costs).  The problems 
that are evident are usually in the object model 
and the programming interface.  So one might ask 
if the binary introduces processor semantics problems, 
but I doubt that is the case.  It is a case for 
better performance trading on reuse and access.


From: Norman Walsh [mailto:Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM]

I think you're asking "how long does a document have to exist before
it becomes important to be able to read it independent of the systems
that originally produced it?"

| What about short lifecycle documents?
| Lifecycle is in the eye of the operator.  While the lifecycle 
| property is a compelling property of XML, it is not of 
| necessity a constraining property of all of its applications 
| in time and space.  Forgetting is as important as remembering.

That's a good point. The long-term understandability of an ephemeral
message is irrelevant. Though there's nothing about understandability
that prevents one from forgetting :-)

To be a little more clear, I wasn't trying to assert that it be a
"constraining property of all of its applications" only that in the
"electronic document" use case, it was a property of very high
importance, in my opinion. That use case, as I understand it, is about
documents authored by humans for communicating information to other
humans. People tend to care about stuff for a long time. I have some
10 year old XML (uh, SGML) documents that I can read just fine and
some 20 year old word processor documents that I fear are gone
Received on Tuesday, 12 April 2005 19:38:51 UTC

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