Why Jeff Atwood Is Right

by M. David Peterson

Firstly, I, like many of you, am glad to see that Dare Obasanjo's indefinite hiatus from the blogosphere was short lived.

Secondly, while I most certainly agree with the premise of his recent "In Defense of XML" post -- which was written in response to Jeff Atwood's most recent attempt to get everyone in the XML communities of the world to hate him ;-) -- the fact of the matter is:

Jeff Atwood is right!

Now before any of the members of the XML communities (of which I am a proud member of several!) pull out their pitchforks, and before any of the XML haters of the world declare some sort of moral victory, let me be perfectly clear:

So is Dare!

"WTF?" you say? Well, let's first take a look at a portion of Dare's argument:



is informative but not very.

2. Interpretable? Again, YMMV.

It doesn't have to be easy to read; just possible for some n of training or prior knowledge.

It's a very old perrenial thread topic and I'm pretty sure each generation of markup newbs has to go through it once of twice. For the rest, someone wake me up when a decision is made. XML is often the best of the worst or just terrible. VRML was a lot cleaner without it. X3D is a lot more successful with it. Yawn.

2008-07-02 15:18:16
I've got to disagree with your enthusiasm for binary XML - the biggest advantage of text based XML is the fact that I don't need any special tools to use it. I regularly use less to display local XML, curl to make SOAP/XML-RPC calls and I often write XML by hand in gEdit - 3 things I could not do with a binary format. As soon as you have the need for special tools you weaken a file format. Sure, some schemas are easier to read or write than others, but at least it 's always possible.

As for XML configuration, an app that's difficult to configure is going to be difficult to configure no matter what format the config file is in.

2008-07-03 05:53:44
It would make me mad if httpd.conf or php.ini became httpd.xml or php.xml.
2008-07-03 07:21:33
1. Readability: yes, a goal since the SGML days. Easy to read, YMMV. It depends on the language designers.

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