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XML vs. space separated lists

 
 
AMB
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      09-12-2005
Hi all,

I'm currently working on a large project which uses XML formatted data
to communicate between all the various different systems the project
ties together, apart from one, which communicates via space separated
list.

Obviously, having a space separated list floating around isn't
desirable (it doesn't even support spaces in the data, for one), but I
can't think of a killer reason to convince the owner of that system to
change to XML.

What reasons can you suggest for not using a space separated list, but
XML instead?

Thanks in advance,

AMB

 
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J??rgen Kahrs
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      09-12-2005
AMB wrote:

> Obviously, having a space separated list floating around isn't
> desirable (it doesn't even support spaces in the data, for one), but I


You can use CSV (comma-separated-values) and this will
allow you to have blank spaces in the data. This topic
has been discussed at length varies times in newsgroups
like comp.lang.awk.

> can't think of a killer reason to convince the owner of that system to
> change to XML.


Automated validation with DTD or Schema. But this requires
much work in detail.

> What reasons can you suggest for not using a space separated list, but
> XML instead?


You should also ask for killer arguments against the use
of XML. You are one of those who have a *brilliant* solution
first (XML) and then you look for a justification to use
it in some way. You will run into trouble if you force
others to buy your favourite toy.
 
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Patrick TJ McPhee
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      09-14-2005
In article <(E-Mail Removed) .com>,
AMB <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

% Obviously, having a space separated list floating around isn't
% desirable

That depends a lot on the data. Delimited lists are faster and easier to
write and to read. They take less space. They don't handle binary
data well (but neither does XML), but for textual data, it's always
possible to pick a delimter which doesn't appear in the data (think
FS and RS).

XML handles structured data better and in theory provides unambiguous
character encoding (although in practice this is not always the case).
It provides standard mechanisms for describing the content of a file,
but if the data's structure is amenable to a delimited list, a
plain-language description of the list format will be simpler and equally
useful.

--

Patrick TJ McPhee
North York Canada
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)
 
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