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

Valentin <>
Thu Jan 30 08:27:20 CET 2003

Dear friends,

> 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.

IMHO, XML is not that bad, however, it seems to me that no matter how good
an idea, industry will find the way to corrupt it. Sure, you can use it XML
as a marshalling mechanism (i.e. xmlrpc & SOAP) for some kind of remote
procedure/function/method invocation, but if we did not learn by now that
such an effort becomes its own purpose, and usually miss the point
completely... well, we never will.

> 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.

Unlike ASN.1/BER (or, God forbid CORBA/COM/ similar), where both parties
must know everything about each other before starting to exchange data, what
I like about XML is that does not need to be the case. For example, although
you could decode with ease a BER pdu, you will never be sure what the data
is all about without a relevant ASN.1 specification. On the other hand, one
can extract and use a fragment of "well formed" XML document, and, even
better,  "inject" the things dynamically without compromising the structure.
A very interesting service provisioning/management system(s) can be
implemented/integrated in that way. Or think of a root-cause analysis
system -- a whole history and/or reasoning can be encoded and specified in a
single PDU. A very flexible first normal form.

Ability to specify and encode at the same time I found a pretty useful
concept. Of course, there is Xerces...Damn, could anybody tell these people
that there is no Noble Prize for programming. So why try so hard?


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