Coffeehouse Thread

11 posts

XML: worlds most boring technology?

Back to Forum: Coffeehouse
  • User profile image
    rhm

    OK, I can see the use for XML - I'm not anti-XML even though it has been seriously overused in situations where it doesn't really make sense to use it. That's not my problem.

    My problem is that I'm currently trying to read Applied XML PRogramming For Microsoft .NET by Dino Esponsito. Jeez this stuff is seriously boring. And it's not just boring, but also a real chore to read because of all the X** abbreviations in each and every sentence. I just finished reading the GDI+ programming book and that was like a Tom Clancy novel by comparison.

  • User profile image
    spiderLab

    Agree, the sharing thing is interesting with XML, since you can share data via HTTP.

    We just did that for a client, using Flash for the presentation, a real timesaver.

    But for storing data, I can't see that XML beats eg. SQL. Not in performance, not if you have huge amount of data, not in productivity.





  • User profile image
    eagle

    XML’s beauty is in it’s simplicity.

  • User profile image
    Kaelan

    Well, the parts of it that are simple are definitely beautiful. But there's nothing simple or beautiful about things like '<![CDATA['.

  • User profile image
    Jeremy W

    File sharing, data standardization and descriptive data. That's what I love about XML.

    The first is obvious. The second is important (though it relies on the third). You can now make apps that don't care how the database is structured, as long as they know how the data will be structured: RSS, for instance.

    As long as you know the spec, you can accept data from millions of sources. Likewise, as long as you know the spec you can publish data to millions of sources.

    It's often the specs which are difficult though, and require a lot of work.

  • User profile image
    ericch1

    rhm wrote:
    I just finished reading the GDI+ programming book and that was like a Tom Clancy novel by comparison.


    That's something new... never thought a programming book would be described as a Tom Clancy novel! Smiley

  • User profile image
    rhm

    "by comparison" would be the emphasis!

    Anyway, I'm not really pro or anti XML. It serves a purpose. I'm just looking at it from the perspective of someone who's not really interested in it but needs to use it so now I have to read a book (or a bunch of MSDN docs) on it and it's just boring me to tears.  I need to take a break and play with Managed DirectX for a bit I think.

  • User profile image
    iStation

    I love XML.
    Because, it's a plain text!
    And, readable for both human and computer.
    Furthermore, flexible and strict.
    We can define the structure easily and check the validation with its schema file.
    I recommend to use a compression technique for a huge XML file.
    Tongue Out
     

  • User profile image
    eagle

    It's the lingua franca of todays enterprise computing.


  • User profile image
    warren

    Jeremy W. wrote:
    File sharing, data standardization and descriptive data. That's what I love about XML.

    The first is obvious. The second is important (though it relies on the third). You can now make apps that don't care how the database is structured, as long as they know how the data will be structured: RSS, for instance.

    As long as you know the spec, you can accept data from millions of sources. Likewise, as long as you know the spec you can publish data to millions of sources.

    It's often the specs which are difficult though, and require a lot of work.



    Anyone who's worked professionally with EDI systems over the past couple of decades is nodding their head in agreement with everything you've said.  People who look at XML and go "I don't get it" probably haven't had the displeasure of having to accomplish the same sorts of things XML can do, but by way of proprietary binary formats that made little sense unless you had documentation.

    Self-describing data is powerful stuff.

  • User profile image
    Jeremy W

    Totally. XML saves us hundreds of hours here at work. We have a huge organization (roughly the size of the Redmond campus, as I understand it). We have ActiveDirectory, eDirectory and LDAP X.500 services running. We have Exchange, Notes and Groupwise in our "larger organization". We use NT, AD and eDirectory for authentication.

    XML ties it all together.

    If an account gets created (anywhere), it'll create all the other appropriate services: Directory Services info, email, domain accounts, default group memberships.

    Similarly if things get changed, deleted, suspended, etc...

    And that's just the basics, nevermind the real big mainframe-integrated stuff (finally got Apache and MySQL on the mainframes).

    XML is fantastic. It really allows communication to be easy at the enterprise level.

    Most people who say "XML isn't for everything" don't understand enterprise systems (not all, but a chunk) and are purely looking at things from the web / SME perspective. In those environments it simply makes a different kind of sense, mainly because you don't see the XML.

    What happens when GreatPlains integrates directly into your local HR/Accounting package? XML. How about when you're sync'ing departmental SQL Servers into an organizational one? XML (hopefully).

    XML isn't just the lingua franca, it's a godsend. I remember trying to develop apps like these before XML, and it was a serious pain. CSV files? Relying on destructible LDAP?

    There isn't a way to express how much that makes me shudder. For programmers, XML is good. For businesses, it's huge. Ask Novell, it's how they do all their sync'ing, which is making them a lot of money these days.

Comments closed

Comments have been closed since this content was published more than 30 days ago, but if you'd like to continue the conversation, please create a new thread in our Forums, or Contact Us and let us know.