XML alternatives [was Re: [Beowulf] What services do you run on your cluster nodes?]

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Thu Sep 25 18:10:39 PDT 2008

On Thu, 25 Sep 2008, Joe Landman wrote:

> dirty emails now).  Structure by indentation is IMO *evil*. I have heard that


> GvR actually agrees with this, though that is 3rd order hearsay.
> JSON is a little more intelligent.  Easier to parse.

I'll look at it.
> I guess, as a person who uses Perl quite a bit, I have to smile when I hear 
> about some folks in some other language somewhere forming a team to write a 
> parser or validator for some XML they are banging their heads on.  I am 
> spoiled by Perl's (extraordinarily) powerful tools for stuff like this.

And XML is universal and you don't really need a validator if you are
writing the API for just one tool like this one.  I've done three or
four applications that use XML, and it is really pretty easy.  The hard
part is deciding how to organize the data in the first place.  That's
REALLY hard, actually, and XML as a tool actually forces you to consider
a number of things you really, really do want to consider (but that
people rarely do).

> Darn ... I hope I didn't just light off a language war ... (ducks, covers, 
> and runs)

Nope, stepped into one.  Although I didn't really mean to start one -- I
do not, actually, think XML is a one size fits all solution to all
things. In this specific case it is a very clear and deliberate tradeoff
with both advantages and disadvantages.


Robert G. Brown                            Phone(cell): 1-919-280-8443
Duke University Physics Dept, Box 90305
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Web: http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb
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