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- Subject: Re: Simple XHTML (XML) parser/printer
- From: Tuomo Valkonen <tuomov@...>
- Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2009 05:34:49 +0000 (UTC)
On 2009-03-30, Miles Bader <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Tuomo Valkonen <email@example.com> writes:
>> I've never liked XML for anything, thanks to its its horrible syntax.
>> It's not good for software processing, which would far more efficiently
>> handle a binary format, and it's not good for humans, being over-verbose.
> I don't like XML much either, but I think for "save files" (not usually
> read/written by humans), the result move to a humanly readable format
> with a somewhat standardized tree-oriented structure is a _huge_
> improvement over the random crappy binary formats that generally
> preceded it.
Of course, I'm all for standard structural formats. Nothing stops
them from being binary. Indeed, there are some attempts at a binary
XML, but they haven't quite taken off to my knowledge.
Likewise, nothing stops a standard structural text-based format from
using a nicer syntax. in this department, YAML has actually gained
some support, although I find it a bit too strict and complex for
arbitrary user-editable configuration files: it still remains more
of a protocol/savefile format -- and, of course, totally unsuitable
for documents. For documents, you want a tagged-format like XML.
Because the proportion of structure to data is small, there can be
some syntax overhead in marking the structure. Of course, a LaTeX-style
syntax is far less verbose than XML. I just wish there was a standard
structural LaTeX format, rather than every package parsing the input
by itself. By contrast, for configuration, a tagged syntax is totally
unsuitable, because most of the information is in the structure, in
the keywords, and hence specifying it should be as lightweight as possible.
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