W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > December 2002

Re: binaryXML, marshalling, and and trust boundaries

From: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
Date: Mon, 02 Dec 2002 14:26:54 -0800
Message-ID: <3DEBDE2E.3070600@textuality.com>
To: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Cc: www-tag@w3.org

Dan Connolly wrote:

> Here's a conversation I see repeated about
> every 6 months:


> A: XML is too verbose for low-bandwidth environments
> B: so compress it
> A: but we don't want to spend the battery/cpu/RAM
>  to uncompress it; we just want a binary
>  datastructure of the parse tree

Now I've never actually written compression/decompression code, but I 
always thought that compression was expensive but decompression was 
cheap, and that almost by definition, a small "stupid" device is going 
to doing much more receiving than sending, so I had trouble with the 
cost-of-compression argument.  But I'm not a phone guy.

> A: well, our application is just between
>    our wireless towers and handsets, which
>    trust each other.
> B: well, what you do in the privacy of
>    your own home/trusted-net is your business.
>    If this isn't about interoperability
>    between arbitrary parties in the net/web,
>    then you really don't need our endorsement,
>    do you?

Not crazy about that direction; maybe the single strongest argument for 
using XML is that you can set up your protocol now and let other people 
into the sandbox later without having to make any special effort.

Fortunately, in this area we have a case study: the WAP suite includes 
WBXML.  I gather it hasn't caught on big-time, who knows who & why & 
how,  and what lessons we should learn? -Tim
Received on Monday, 2 December 2002 17:27:07 UTC

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