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RE: Action item on syntax-based interoperability

From: Dare Obasanjo <dareo@microsoft.com>
Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2003 12:13:05 -0700
Message-ID: <830178CE7378FC40BC6F1DDADCFDD1D1D51670@RED-MSG-31.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>
To: "Tim Bray" <tbray@textuality.com>, "Tyler Close" <tyler@waterken.com>
Cc: <www-tag@w3.org>

You must have a very loose definition of the term interoperability. Syntax interoperability isn't much without some shared semantics.  The fact that a web browser written in C# on Windows and C++ on Linux can both read the string "<b>Hello World</b>" without barfing isn't as meaningful to end users as the fact that they both render it in bold text. 
As for your claim that there are no existence proofs for systems primarily based on a data model that have a friendly surface syntax that are interoperable, how do you explain XPath & XSLT? They are both defined in terms of a data model and there is interoperability of XSLT stylesheets & XPath queries. 


From: www-tag-request@w3.org on behalf of Tim Bray
Sent: Wed 10/22/2003 9:32 AM
To: Tyler Close
Cc: www-tag@w3.org
Subject: Re: Action item on syntax-based interoperability

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.
> 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.  I entirely disagree with the
assertion in the last sentence and have observed no existence proofs.
Received on Wednesday, 22 October 2003 15:17:37 UTC

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