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
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
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
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
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:
I think that many XML folks have been working to encroach on the
territory of languages such as Python, even if Python folks aren't
always clear on this fact while complaining about XML. We'll just have
to see how it all shakes out. I know what pattern of tool usage I'll
stick to for now.
Speaking of omni-tools, Dimitre Novatchev put in a
XSLT as general-purpose programming language, which he's also done here
in Copia comments.
I still think it's a bad idea to treat XSLT as anything other than a
whatever) in its
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.