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darobin (1316)

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Journal of darobin (1316)

Tuesday December 11, 2001
01:39 PM

Why not XML ?

[ #1598 ]

Rather frequently I seem to hear Perl people bashing XML, and almost always for the wrong reasons. I'm not interested in outrageous advocacy, there's no point in converting people to something if what they already have is good enough :)

I'd just like to know people's reasons for not liking XML, so that perhaps a little debunking could take place. Most of the stuff I hear talk about the complexity of specs that I've never needed getting in the way, and various other such mythological monsters.

I'm not insane, I don't like verbosity, heaviness, complexity, and other such things. I use XML because it's the closest thing I've found to a Unix pipe that could carry consistently structured information. So somehow there are two perceptions hanging around, and I'd like to find out why ?

I'm also hoping it's not because of the "everybody else is doing it so Perlians get to do it some other way" approach to things which some people tend to have when they think that building a bigger wall around themselves creates a tighter community.

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  • There are a couple of ways to look at the Perl vs. XML issue.

    First, there are a few "leading minds" in the Perl community that are quite vocal in their strong dislike of XML for it's verbosity. Similarly, there are some "leading minds" in XML that are quite vocal in their strong dislike of Perl for it's syntax. (This doesn't explain why there are those "leading minds" in both Perl and XML that like two tastes that taste great together. :-)

    The second important reason was best articulated by Gnat "I'm no

    • Yes, I can see your "leading minds" argument, but on the other hand if the idea is to get one's job done, then listening to the tools and exploring their potential power is probably a better option than listening to other people, even those that are right (ie your third category ;-)

      When it comes to Perl's strengths, I beg to differ. For one, Perl has long become good at much more than sysadmin tasks. I think that those hardly represent 2% of what I do with Perl. More importantly however, it is a gre


      -- Robin Berjon []

      • Whoa, this is a huge one. :-)

        When it comes to Perl's strengths, I beg to differ.

        I think I hit the send button too soon. Usually when I enter into this discussion (it's not the first time), I describe sysadmining and duct tape as Perl's historical areas of strength. That adjective is quite important. :-) By no means should that be taken to imply that Perl is a poor language for application programming.

        I certainly agree with your POV about XML being great glue, and Perl and XML being made for ea

        • Yes, the fact that it's so easy to write a "semi-parser" parser in Perl certainly doesn't help make XML as popular as it could be, especially for the quick and dirty stuff. Good point there. However, I'd like to say "Why even write a small and easy parser when you could avoid writing one altogether ?" ;-)

          I wasn't trying to convince you :-) I know you're not on the anti-XML side. I just felt that I had a few arguments to underline in reply to what you said, and, err, maybe I went a touch overboard in


          -- Robin Berjon []