Other things I don't get (WAS: Re: A Joeish Erlang distributi on (long))

Shawn Pearce <>
Wed Jan 29 18:12:29 CET 2003

I'm debating this with a coworker, and his attitude was that it is
easier to maintain an XML protocol's source code than it is to maintain
a binary protocol's source code, thus making the product cheaper to
produce (and thus higher profits).  Therefore, from a business
perspective any XML protocol is the best protocol currently available,
as it is easier to maintain backwards/fowards compatibility as necessary
to not piss off customers.

I think he's full of it.  If you have a nice tagged format, and within
that tagged format a way to expose structure (if structure is necessary
for you to do, like list enumeration, etc) then you can still be as
compatible, and most likely actually make the software cheaper to
develop as you don't have to bend your application to the weird rules
of XML.

We're struggling at work to deal with escaping quotes in XML attributes
and embedding binary image data in an XML document. *sigh*

I'll put good money on the table that our currently binary data file
format we have used for the past 10 years will be rewritten soon in
XML.  5 GB of binary data in a highly compressed file will explode.
"But its ok, most customers have 36 GB drives today."  :)  *puke*

Our current XML transfer formats are already unreadable or uneditable
by a human once they get beyond 1KB in size.  We don't use LFs inside
of the XML tags, so no editor will read it beyond a certain size (and
most of our docs are over that size).  Things over 1 KB are too complex
to read in a text editor, so we use XML Spy.  We might as well just use
a simple binary editor written in house.  Would actually work better.
Oh wait, we did that for the XML, and our own developers hate it.  :)

XML has too few advantages to be used, but yet its everywhere, which
is its biggest advantage.

Chandrashekhar Mullaparthi <> wrote:
> I couldn't agree more. I dont why anyone would want a human-readable format
> for messages which are exchanged by machines. I think it(XML) was formulated
> by people who couldn't debug their application when implementing a protocol
> exchanging messages in binary format. A Tag,Length,Value form of encoding is
> all we need.
> I saw this as someone's signature...
> There are 10 kinds of people in this world. Those who understand binary, and
> those who don't.
> cheers
> Chandru
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Per Bergqvist [mailto:]
> Sent: 28 January 2003 23:17
> To: Niclas Eklund
> Cc: Per Bergqvist; 
> Subject: Other things I don't get (WAS: Re: A Joeish Erlang distribution
> (long))
> Regarding parlay they have now started to publish xml/soap interfaces.
> xml/soap for traffical interfaces is even more bizarro.               
> I asked a colleague the other day if he could explain one good thing  
> with xml and the funny thing is that he was totally confused about    
> this too.                                                             
> If I think xml as such is totally overrated, I believe that soap is   
> pure stupidity.  Since this xml hysteria has been bugging for quite   
> some time now it would be interesting to hear others opinions.        
> Am I way off here ???                                                 
> (I'm sorry if this all sounds like I have pms, but I truly believe    
> that traffical interfaces should have simple and efficient codings.)  
> /Per                                                                  
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