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Re: Action item on syntax-based interoperability

From: Tyler Close <tyler@waterken.com>
Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2003 12:51:24 -0400
To: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
Cc: www-tag@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1ACMCk-00025b-00@canteen>

On Wednesday 22 October 2003 12:32, Tim Bray wrote:
> On Wednesday, October 22, 2003, at 08:59  AM, Tyler Close wrote:
> > Is it really the absence of a data model that is the source of
> > success? I think it is the presence of a friendly, textual surface
> > syntax that is the source of success. If I'm wrong, then defining
> > a data model for XML, like XML Infoset, reduces the
> > interoperability of XML.
>
> I think the infoset made life easier for spec writers, but added
> exactly nothing to the interoperability of XML, which happens at the
> syntax level.

Ok, but does the infoset hinder XML's interoperability?  Your
current text suggests that a data model hinders interoperability.

> > I think the message should be "Syntax is important", not "Data
> > models are bad". A system defined in terms of a data model
> > represented in a friendly, textual surface syntax, could have the
> > same interoperability properties as the WWW.
>
> Syntax is *essential*, not important.

Ok, the message should be "Syntax is essential", not "Data models
are bad".

> I entirely disagree with the assertion in the last sentence and
> have observed no existence proofs.

That's fine, but that's not the issue. The WWW has demonstrated
that syntax is essential, not that data models are bad. Afterall,
XML has the infoset.

As to the assertion, if you subtract the "data model" from the
"data model + friendly syntax", you get a "friendly syntax". Does
tearing up the specification of the data model improve
interoperability? If not, then maligning a process that uses a
data model is unjustified.

"Syntax is essential" is your real message, isn't it?

Tyler
Received on Wednesday, 22 October 2003 13:15:47 GMT

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