There has been quite a bit of discussion triggered by my article "Python and XML: Should Python and XML Coexist?". This sort of thing always surprises me more than it should. I like to post code-heavy articles and leave the philosophy to the occasional entry, or to this very Weblog, but it seems that people respond more vocally to philosophy than to code. Perhaps I'll discuss with Kendall, my editor, what this suggests in terms of future directions for my Python/XML column.
Anyway, first I point to PJE's response. I used quotes from his Weblog as jumping-off points for my article.
Uche Ogbuji liberally quotes from and analyzes two of my XML-v.-Python rants, and actually gets it completely right. Since at least one of those rants has been cited as meaning I think XML is the spawn of Satan, I'm glad Uche read closely enough to get the context and nuance, without projecting things into it that I didn't say. Kudos!
I don't claim to know whom PJE speaks of when he refers to other commentary on his rant, but Martijn Faassen indicated his own response. I do think that Martijn missed some of PJE's intended nuance, but to be fair, it took me more than one reading to catch that nuance. I think that PJE could have saved himself a lot of misunderstanding, but hell, I've had my turn at thickly nuanced rant myself, so I see both sides. Looking more broadly at the landscape, Martijn puts succinctly what I've said in the past.
This disdain for XML technologies is very common among Python programmers.
But maybe that means something greater than petty rivalry. Mike Champion brought up my article on XML-DEV:
For some time now we've seen the JSON "fat-free alternative to XML" direction that some in the AJAX world are taking to address both XML's inefficiency and the mismatch with programming languages. Now I see that many in the Python community have a similar attitude toward XML and encourage its use only when necessary to exchange data with non-Python apps.
He followed with a list of thoughts, touching on the likely roles of JSON, Python, XML, and more, and I responded. To much to quote from the exchange. Read the originals yourself, if you like. I will mention the final thought in my response:
In many ways I think a vicious backlash from programming languages against XML is just what XML needs right now.
In saying that, I had in mind some of my other prosaic articles about the direction of XML, including:
- "XML class warfare"
- "The worry about program wizards"
- "Objects. Encapsulation. XML?"
- "XML's growing pains"
- "Is XQuery an omni-tool?".
In the comments on my article there are some interesting bits, including one correspondent's mention of the importance of open file formats, and the XML's role in this, followed bewilderingly by:
C++ is so powerful that with the right classes, many of the advantages of a scripting language are attainable.
Sounds like someone who badly needs to actually try Python.