On Thu, Oct 3, 2013 at 5:19 AM, ianG <i...@iang.org> wrote:

> On 3/10/13 00:37 AM, Dave Horsfall wrote:
>> On Wed, 2 Oct 2013, Jerry Leichter wrote:
>>  Always keep in mind - when you argue for "easy readability" - that one
>>> of COBOL's design goals was for programs to be readable and
>>> understandable by non-programmers.
>> Managers, in particular.
> SQL, too, had that goal.  4GLs (remember them?).  XML.  Has it ever worked?

XML was not intended to be easy to read, it was designed to be less painful
to work with than SGML, that is all.

There are actually good reasons why a document markup format needs to have
more features than a protocol data encoding format. People tend to edit
documents and need continuous syntax checks for a start.

XML is actually a good document format and a lousy RPC encoding. Although
that is exactly what SOAP is designed to turn XML into. The design of WSDL
and SOAP is entirely due to the need to impedance match COM to HTTP.

What does work in my experience is to design a language that is highly
targeted at a particular problem set. Like building FSRs or LR(1) parsers
or encoding X.509 certificates (this week's work).

And no, an ASN1 compiler is not a particularly useful tool for encoding
X.509v3 certs as it turns out.

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