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Re: Proposed restatement of syntax-based interoperability principle ( was RE: Action item on syntax-based interoperability)

From: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
Date: Sat, 25 Oct 2003 09:25:26 -0700
Cc: "Champion, Mike" <Mike.Champion@SoftwareAG-USA.com>, www-tag@w3.org
To: noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com
Message-Id: <D722A3EC-0707-11D8-A7A4-000A95A51C9E@textuality.com>

On Friday, October 24, 2003, at 01:32  PM, noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com 
wrote:

> So, I think that some form of explicit model is important, indeed
> necessary.  We must then avoid the temptation to use the existence of a
> data model as an excuse for a proliferation of non-standard or even
> standardized serial syntaxes.  I think we can avoid those temptations
> while still benefiting from clear documentation of the models that I
> believe have been implicit in XML from day 1 anyway.

I tend to agree that the infoset represents valuable work, but I don't 
think that's on the grounds of data modeling.  Let me argue by example. 
  The RSS community has this deplorable desire to ship "escaped markup" 
around.  One faction was arguing that this should be done with CDATA 
rather than per-char &-escaping, and then it wouldn't be so bothersome. 
  The infoset was quite useful in shouting these people down.  But 
nobody in the RSS world has ever argued that RSS needs to define a 
"data model" to get its job done.  So to use your terms, the real 
function here is in establishing equivalence classes among instances of 
XML syntax.

I'm certainly not arguing that APIs and data models aren't useful and 
necessary citizens of the software universe.  I'm just saying that they 
do not provide a basis for interoperability in networked information 
systems.  And the evidence is on my side. -Tim
Received on Saturday, 25 October 2003 12:26:17 GMT

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