> I like the format of the gridded table as it is now. It's quite > similar to the way we do it in JSBSim. I had gotten into a discussion > with a more hard-core XML guy recently, > though, and some of the points he made seemed sensible. > But, I wanted to get some opinions from others who are doing similar > work. The answers are pretty much along the lines of > what I expected - that is, there's not really any convincing > reason to tag each data point.
The gridded text is useful for readability for those who like to look in the XML code using a text editor. Readability that, for all the rest of DAVE-ML items, is anyway disturbed by the verbosity of the XML tags. If you open the file with a general XML viewer the gridded text is usually put on a single line. Tables are unreadable. A tagged solution is terrible looking in the code. Viewed with a standard XML viewer is a little better, but still not very readable (columns will be listed one by one). Try for instance to read the following with MS IE: <Example> <dataTable> 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 </dataTable> <dataTableXML> <tr> <td>00</td> <td>01</td> <td>02</td> <td>03</td> </tr> <tr> <td>04</td> <td>05</td> <td>06</td> <td>07</td> </tr> </dataTableXML> </Example> The tagged format can be useful if we want to process the XML to convert the format (for instance in a HTML readable form). Another thing that, for the XMLers, may result odd is the different handling of values: for variables they are tagged inside a specific attribute, for table defined functions they are untagged. XML is for exchanging data. The goal of XML is to identify the relevant items of a set of data and give them a semantics. We can't consider the same a table of n x m values and a textual description. I'm afraid the "right" thing to do for an XML format is to eventually go tagged (and, of course, provide a viewer). Just for the sake of discussion: I'm used to look in the code, I stay well with the gridded solution :) Giovanni.