Erlounge Schaumburg, XML vs UBF

Hal Snyder hal@REDACTED
Sat Jun 14 20:17:56 CEST 2003

Thanks to all who made the first Erlounge Schaumburg a great success.

For the benefit of those who could not make it, the XML-vs-UBF debate
is summarized:

XML Disadvantages

1. Verbose.
2. Problem with whitespace in elements.
3. Grammar not completely context free.
4. No consistent way of using elements vs. attributes.
5. It's not beer.

XML Advantages

1. People agreed on it.
2. Simple, text-based.
3. Easy to read (at least the small samples shown in tutorials).
4. Intuitively looks like HTML.
5. Lots of toolsets, like XSLT.
6. Self defining.

UBF Disadvantages

1. None of us fully understands it yet (Joe wasn't there).
2. Unproven.
3. Not finished.
4. S-expression closing tag problem.

UBF Advantages
1. Concise.
2. Easy to parse.
3. Direct attack on XML's most annoying drawbacks.
4. Language independent type schema.
5. Contract checker is intriguing.
6. Proof of concept is coded in Erlang.

Attendees gravely considered the above and found unanimously that
a) UBF is much better than XML, and b) more study is needed.

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