Re: Version Control is Undo
Posted: Dec 30, 2008 6:42 AM
> wow now that i’ve actually skimmed over the other posts i
> must say this discussion has gone haywire. it started out
> with a discussion of version control, but has turned into
> a little xml war.
> i’ll say, for all that xml has done good, it is still 80%
> B.S.---things you don’t need, things you don’t want, and
> things you can hardly use. the single most important thing
> in IT is data, the second important thing is the structure
> of that data, and the third, to process / manipulate /
> transform that data.
> xml does nothing that is easily usable to approach the
> first problem---in xml, you can’t even tell a number from
> a text, or a boolean (there is xml schema, and there is
> DTDs, but both are atrocious solutions and, for me,
> necessary evils that largely fall into the 80% B.S.
> category. DTDs are not even formulated in XML).
> xml does astoundingly little to approach the second most
> important point in IT---the structure of data. sure, you
> can put tags inside of tags, but you are still burdened
> with all that attribute-vs-tag content B.S., plus you
> still don’t know whether
> (foo)(bar)42(/bar)(baz)108(/baz)(/foo) is a list of values
> or a mapping of values. people, JSON does get the first
> point right (for five most important things: number, text,
> null, true, false), and it gets the second point right
> (with lists and mappings). AND it does so with 1%---ONE
> MEAGER FUCKING PERCENT---of all the complexities of XML
> (or, god beware, SGML). (disclaimer: yes, i know it would
> be hard to use JSON as a text markup technology, but
> frankly some of the most annoying B.S. that you have to
> deal with when parsing XML-as-data-structure-language
> comes down on you because of mixed content).
I couldn't agree with you more! Referring to XML was an example of a solution in the right direction. JSON is a more suitable solution to the problems you mention.
To come to the correct path in the discussion, a format like JSON (or XML, whatever) which is structured and provides a set of primitive types would be ideal for version control and undo.
> lastly, XML itself does nothing for you when it comes to
> processing data. only tools tailored to handle its immense
> complexities---DOM, SAX, whathaveyou---can do that for
> you. that is all fine if it wasn’t for the fact that the
> complexities of XML do shine through in almost every tool
> you can use in the most obnoxious of ways. heck, when i
> retrieve a JSON structure over the wire via an ajax HTTP
> of names to NATIVE booleans, strings, numbers---am i
> can have numbers in the result set? say WHAT??
This problem does not diminish the use of XML in any way, and it's irrelevant to XML though.
> it took people like john resig, of jQuery fame, to show
> the world that you can, in 80% of the time, get away with
> `$('#foo')`, `$('.bar')` and friends. in may experience,
> that is also 80% of what you ever wanted to do with XML.
> the simplicity, beauty, and usefulness of his design
> stands in a shockingly stark contrast to the immense heap
> of specs that have gone into making XML the bloat it is.
> which is sad, as it looked like a good idea, years ago.
The point of this discussion is how version control and undo could be merged, and using a structured format would help.