Registered: Oct, 2005
Re: What is XML?
Posted: Oct 20, 2005 6:41 AM
I equate XML to a spoken language.
A spoken language facilities communication between parties.
Communication is much more efficient when parties speak the same language. Efficiency here is about parties' understanding of each other, parties' ability to articulate. It is not about how easy the language itself is. It could be any language as long as parties speak the same one.
Regions of people speak their own languages. It is efficient for them. However, to communicate efficiently outside of their regions, they would most likely have to learn another language. If there is a defacto language out there, it would eliminate the need to choose one. After all, you may choose one that is not understood by the majority.
So, when asked "What is XML?", we need a context. Personally, XML as it is is not good for self contained tools. For example, I can't think why property files need to be in XML. Who else is reading my programs property files?
In another context, chains of tools as in Jim's example. XML as is is not "efficient". Why force your tools to speak in a way that is not natural to them.
The only context I see XML is helping is data exchange between different independent systems. In this context, what we are looking for is a way that both sides understand. It could be anything as long as both sides understand it. It just happens there is XML.
I learned English and I am able to communicate with people knowing English. Among my Chinese friends and families, we speak Chinese. We communicate well and why would I force any of my Chinese friends and families to speaking English?