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grantm (164)

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Just a simple [] guy, hacking Perl for fun and profit since way back in the last millenium. You may find me hanging around in the monestary [].

What am I working on right now? Probably the Sprog project [].

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Journal of grantm (164)

Thursday July 26, 2007
03:21 AM

The "Perl end" of XML

[ #33887 ]

In theory XML allows two parties to agree on an unambiguous definition of a format for data exchange. Low level rules define what is and what is not XML. Optional layers on top of that define some sort of schema for the elements in the XML document and once again it is relatively easy to take an XML document and confirm whether or not it complies with the agreed schema.

In practise things are quite different to theory.

In my experience, there's always politics. There's always one party which is either unwilling or unable to comply with the rules or in extreme cases even acknowledge that rules exist. The other party inevitably has to bend over and take it. This has led me to postulate the following 'law':

Where XML data must be exchanged between two parties, the party at the "Perl end" of the pipe will inevitably have to adapt to whatever non-compliant tag-soup gunk the other party emits or expects.

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  • I may have gotten lucky then, because in all the cases where I've implemented an XML transport, I've been able to have an XML schema, and both parties have agreed to enforce those XML Schemas from day 1.

    Of course, this just moves the politics out of the XML and into the schema definition process.

    But this is already a source of politics, and it means that the movement of functionality from concept to implementation is somewhat controlled.

  • I laughed so hard when I read this. I couldn't agree more since I have been at the end of the pipe waving the Perl wand to clean up the XML tag mess.