James A. Donald wrote:

In the case of XML, yes there is a parsing engine, and if the structure of the DTD reflects the structure of the algorithm, then indeed it makes things much easier. But usually the committee have not thought about the algorithm, or have unresolved disagreements about what the algorithm should be, leaving the engineer with problems that are at best extremely difficult to solve, and are at worst impossible to solve. Ideally the DTD should be developed in parallel with the program that processes the XML. In that case, you get the parsing engine doing a lot of work for free, so the engineers do not have to reinvent the wheel. But if the DTD is written first by one group, and the program second, by another group, the second group is usually hosed good.

The situation is improved slightly with XML schemas, as one can use frameworks like XMLBeans (http://xmlbeans.apache.org/) to get the protocol much closer to the code. This can help a bit, but doesn't change the fundamentals.

You're still right in that if you have one group developing the code and another the protocol, you're probably screwed, but isn't this just as true (perhaps moreso) if you're rolling your own protocol structure instead of using XML?


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