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The article seems to be "object biased"
Posted by Rajeev Sah on July 03, 2000 at 5:37 AM
First of all congrats for such a great article comparing the document and object based approach for client-server communication. I am not sure whether it is the right itme to comment on this , but I agree with Kedar that this article sure seems to be "object biased".
One of the most important feature of XML is that it gives you independence, not only in terms of Operating systems but also in terms of languages. I agree, that COM and CORBA are trying to do the same, but that is binary compatibility and requires an environment. Jini is no exception. If I understand it correctly, any Java object sent by the server can be received ONLY by a java client. This takes away the ability to program in the language of one's choice. In my opinion, in case of information services like the newsfeed example discussed in the article, the document approach should suffice. There the server can send the data in a standard XML format and the clients could be any XML enabled device, a browser, an application or maybe a fridge :-) written in java, VB, VC, Perl, Python or any other language that has soem implemenatation of XML DOM. With the popularity XML is getting, if the DOM support is not there today, tomorrow you are sure to get it. Otherwise writing a small XML parser shouldn't be a difficult thing.
The ability of an object to carry its functionality i.e.code within itself makes it a candidate for working in unknown environments. However, in services based solutions like the one discussed in the article, the client and the server know each others functioning so the functional part could stay at the client or the server as the code which acts upon the DOm and does something meaningful.
I think that both approaches are equally good each offering its own set of functionalities and one should use a combination that suits his/her application best.
I would like to hear your comment on the topic. Such a comparison has been hovering in my mind for quite some time, I am glad that Bill Venners came up with an interesting article on it.