On Objects vs. XML

The fundamental problem with XML these days is that there is a schism between its primary classes of users. On the one hand there are the document-centric folks who started of with SGML or more recently HTML and moved on to XML for their publishing needs. These users like being able to manipulate their documents programmatically, process them in a pipelined manner or transform them according to their needs to text, (X)HTML, other XML, etc. Then there are the data-centric folks who see XML as an industry standard data interchange format which comes with the added benefit of all these standard mechanisms to manipulate it programmatically, transform and display it, query it and apply constraints to its structure. Recently I have noticed a third class of user who perhaps fits the bill as an XML zealot as described in the Objects vs. XML article and is best symbolized in this quote from an Infoworld article
Currently, performance on the Web is hindered because of translations between Java and XML data formats, Florescu said. "I don't think we will have good performance as long as we have people marshalling data from XML to Java and back," Florescu said.

She went so far as to predict that eventually, an extension of XQuery will replace both Java and SQL, drawing a sharp retort from Cattell, whose company developed the Java programming language.
The problem with thinking that XML related technologies can solve the problems that relational and object oriented systems currently solve is that it isn't clear cut that the current crop of XML technologies solve XML-related problems properly because of the aforementioned schism. The most recent manifestation of this schism is the risingtide of complaints against W3CXMLSchema which is a fairly complex schema language for XML created by the W3C and RELAX NG a simpler sometimes more elegant schema language designed by James Clark and Murata Makoto.

W3C XML Schema although complex is great for creating schemas for data binding XML to programming language objects or database schema but is too verbose and lacks key functionality when trying to author schema for certain document-centric uses. RELAX NG is almost the exact opposite. This same conflict is looking set to play itself out with regards to XPath and XSLT given the recent outcry over the new direction the recent versions of these specs are taking

Given that segue I'll return to the original premise of the article that XML can somehow provide enough bang for the buck to replace object oriented systems. Since the author of the Objects vs. XML article is a SOAP enthusiast I assume he is refering to data-centric uses of XML for which the current technologies of interest are W3C XML Schema and XQuery. There are at least two reasons why I think the likelihood of this is remote
  • Object oriented programming languages and modelling techniques (such as UML) model the real world and do so in a manner that is fairly inuitive. XML is a hierarchical, tree structure which although has a number of uses in certain data interchange scenarios does a poor job or presenting a data model that represents the real world as well as objects do.

  • A more practical reason is that the driving force behind current XML technologies are committee based. Programming languages are typically designed by one person (at least initially) which means that they are typically fairly consistent and often designed with a clear vision. XML technologies as produced by the W3C are the results of dozens of agendas pushed by dozens of companies resulting in increasingly complex works that lack an internal consistency.

    One of my co-workers referred to it as computer science by committee. The formal description for W3C XML Schema which is supposed to describe the technology in a formal, mathematical/logical manner is unfinished a year after the standard was released. The XQuery formal semantics contradicts itself in a number of places which may be excused since it is still a working draft and XQuery is not yet a W3C recommendation.

Top 10 Reasons Companies Fail

I found a link to an article entitled Why Companies Fail on Mike Champion's weblog. The article makes me wish I still had my Fortune subscription since I'd love to have it in print to thumb through whenever I decide to strike out on my own or become management wherever I may be in 10-15 years. The list of top 10 sins are
  1. Softened by Success

  2. See No Evil

  3. Fearing the Boss more than the Competition

  4. Overdosing on Risk

  5. Acquisition Lust

  6. Listening to Wall Street more than to Employees

  7. Strategy du Jour

  8. A Dangerous Corporate Culture

  9. The New-Economy Death Spiral

  10. A Dysfunctional Board

Hong Kong Travel Tips

Since my SiXDML paper was accepted to an XML database conference in Hong Kong I was wondering if anyone had any travel tips. Specifically what to see, where to go, things to avoid and a few night life pointers wouldn't be bad either. I could probably Google for this but prefer personal recommendations when it comes to travelling.

Office Move

For those who read my diary regularly, you'll remember I recently complained about the possibility of sharing an office well it looks like I may have dodged that bullet by moved into a cramped office which although fine for one would be unsatisfactory for two. Join me in repeating my chant from a few diaries ago


Sorry if this diary entry devolved into incoherence. My girlfriend called to say that someone ran over dog while it was on the sidewalk last night while I was writing it.


The opinions in this diary are my own and do not reflect the opinions, thoughts, intentions or strategies of my employer.

Tracked by:
"jhonny depp" (jhonny depp) [Trackback]
"midi colonna sonore" (midi colonna sonore) [Trackback]
"Steve Brock Ministries" (Steve Brock Ministries) [Trackback]
"MUSIC - Bethlehem Morning" (MUSIC - Bethlehem Morning) [Trackback]
"londra big ben" (londra big ben) [Trackback]
"immagini disney" (immagini disney) [Trackback]
"gioco scaricare gratis pc" (gioco scaricare gratis pc) [Trackback]
"freddissimo gradito papa" (freddissimo gradito papa) [Trackback]
"val d aosta" (val d aosta) [Trackback]
"mediale affari" (mediale affari) [Trackback]
"albergo bournemouth" (albergo bournemouth) [Trackback]
"MUSIC - Gloria" (MUSIC - Gloria) [Trackback]
"memory card" (memory card) [Trackback]
"calendario 2003" (calendario 2003) [Trackback]
"amministratore condominiale" (amministratore condominiale) [Trackback]
"new york four seasons hotel" (new york four seasons hotel) [Trackback]
"vacanza ad ischia" (vacanza ad ischia) [Trackback]
"gioco adulto gratis" (gioco adulto gratis) [Trackback]
"Steve Brock Ministries" (Steve Brock Ministries) [Trackback]
"l attimo fuggente" (l attimo fuggente) [Trackback]
"bionde masturbandosi" (bionde masturbandosi) [Trackback]
"giochi carta regolamento" (giochi carta regolamento) [Trackback]
"Steve Brock Ministries" (Steve Brock Ministries) [Trackback]
"perline gioiello" (perline gioiello) [Trackback]
"Steve Brock Ministries" (Steve Brock Ministries) [Trackback]
"scuola superiore" (scuola superiore) [Trackback]
"Steve Brock Ministries" (Steve Brock Ministries) [Trackback]
"MUSIC - Mary Did You Know/What Child Is This?" (MUSIC - Mary Did You Know/What ... [Trackback]
"HOME" (HOME) [Trackback]
"MUSIC" (MUSIC) [Trackback]
"PHOTOS" (PHOTOS) [Trackback]
"torte bindi" (torte bindi) [Trackback]
"pulcino fottilo nella residenza" (pulcino fottilo nella residenza) [Trackback]
"CONTACT" (CONTACT) [Trackback]
"medio apparecchio" (medio apparecchio) [Trackback]
"albergo firenze hotel" (albergo firenze hotel) [Trackback]