It’s just data

"Just" Use XML

Slides from today’s presentation.

I experienced serious technical difficulties when giving this presentation.  I was under the mis-impression that my talk was at 2:45 when it in fact was scheduled for 2:00.  So, I was in the midst of preparing my presentation for upload — always have a viable backup — when I was fetched to come give the talk.

I fumbled for a few minutes trying to get the video to display, and despite the fact that I have been successful as far away as Sri Lanka, I had no success in Atlanta.  My clip on-mike didn’t pick up my voice sufficiently, so I ended up using a hand mike.  Trying to generate the HTML to copy to a USB device while giving a presentation while holding a mike - well, I simply didn’t have enough hands.

So I presented to a backdrop of a blank screen, complimented occasionally by some illegible scribles I made on a flip chart.

Judging by the audience, I did get the impression that most people were following along, and there was even some apparent disagreement on some of my points - though I suspect that mostly we would have ended up at the same place.  Example: it apparently is deemed somewhat unfortunate but expected that some parsers would accept xml:stylesheet whereas others would flat out reject the entire document.  At one point there was even an audience to audience disagreement as to whether the XML spec clearly states that attribute order is irrelevant.

Normally, I like creating the environment for such discussions as it means that I have successfully engaged the audience.  I just wish I could have more fully participated myself.

Note: while the URLs for the individual pages of this presentation are stable, I may end up tweaking the script that generated them over the next few days.  I see to have hit scalability issues in S5, so I backed off to a hybrid approach for generating the slides.  I will admit to a preference for every slide having a unique URI, and for the address bar in the browser to reflect the URI of the current page, so this is goodness anyway.


“Just” Use XML

Bah, I was reading that.

Posted by DhC at

“Just” Use XML

Is anyone else getting the urge to kick this computer thing and start farming?  Is that just me?

Great, great slides.

Posted by Bryan at

[linkfarm] "Just" use XML

“Just” use XML - Sam Ruby’s talk from XML 2005. Looks pretty essential. For people who work with XML anyway :)[Add a comment]...

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HTTP Encoding

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“Just” Use XML

Some random comments:

With respect the “no ungetc in Java” comment in relation to the BOM, I present to you PushbackReader (since JDK 1.1); that may or may not have helped you solve your problem, but it’s one of those things few people seem to know aobut and which comes in handy here and there.

As you’ve pointed out in different terms, XML is even harder than comedy.  But one of the reasons for the massive success of HTML was the fact that early browsers accepted tag soup, enabling just about anybody, not just those with the attention span to read an implement a spec, to create a web page.  Looking over REXML, as you’ve documented yourself, the urge to go Postel on purported XML you find in the wild looks like it’s hard to resist.

With respect to the general issue of liberality, it depends on the context; a parser used in a SOAP stack deployed in a crucial application has every right to be nitpicky.  When you’re talking about an RSS parser, I think Mark Pilgrim got it right and made something that’s extremely liberal.

Posted by adamc at

“Just” Use XML

You have a typo on slide 82:

DTDs did not anticipate the later addition of namespaces, making them farily useless for validation purposes for documents which contain namespaces.



Posted by Aristotle Pagaltzis at

Ouch. I feel your pain, Sam

Seems Sam Ruby’s presentation suffered a bit in the spectacle. Unfortunately, I’m no stranger to presentation set-up problems. I’ve also been lucky enough to have patient audiences. Maybe conference organizers will someday factor Linux A/V support...

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“Just” Use XML

Ow.

I enjoyed reading the slides. Sadly there seem to be some quirks at the moment. Slides 107, 117, and 119 missed the formatting train. There’s a possible time warp and detour around 129, 130, and 131.

Posted by Nikolas Coukouma at

“Just” Use XML

you spelled my name wrong on slide 24 :(

Posted by anders pearson at

Sam Ruby: "Just" Use XML

on pitfalls of XML, unicode, dateTime, etc....

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Sam Ruby’s excellent, head-ache inducing presentation on XML pitfalls …......

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“Just” Use XML

Nikolas: I’ve gone through the complete slide side with both IE and FireFox... without any troubles.

Anders: sorry about that.  Fixed.

Posted by Sam Ruby at

“Just” Use XML

Slide #44 ([link]):

s/Uniocde/Unicode/

Posted by Uber at

“Just” Use XML

Uber: fixed.  Thanks!

Posted by Sam Ruby at

“Just” Use XML

Sam: you seem to have missed my correction?

Posted by Aristotle Pagaltzis at

“Just” Use XML

Aristotle: fixed, thanks!

Posted by Sam Ruby at

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“Just” Use XML

You did an admirable job, Sam, in spite of A/V difficulties. Interestingly, with the same laptop and same distribution, I had no projection difficulties.  But I’m still using the open source ATI driver.

Unfortunately, I’m not exactly sure what point you were trying to make. That you have to understand how the various bits of XML fit together? Sure, you do. That some specifications could be clearer? Sure, name one that couldn’t. That some software has bugs? Sure, but that’s a surprise?

For example, you make a fuss about the fact that “--” can’t appear in a comment. Why is that more significant than the fact that “*/” can’t appear in a C or Java block comment?

You observe that Klingon is unlikely to be a supported encoding? Would it be better if only a single encoding was allowed? Sure, better for interoperability, I guess, but not better for those Klingon native speakers whose lives are made easier by the presence of a proper encoding (does Klingon really have an encoding, I wonder?)

There are Unicode code points whose glyphs are nearly (or exactly) indistinguishable from other glyphs. Were that not the case, there’d be one less thing to be aware of, I suppose, but that’s just the way the world is. Different communities have reused glyphs.

I guess the takeaway is that XML isn’t quite as simple as it appears on first glance. But what is?

Posted by Norman Walsh at

“Just” Use XML

Norman: thanks.  I too am using the vanilla ATI driver now — my guess is that somehow I was flustered enough that I made a rookie mistake; screen resolution mismatch or some-such.

Overall, it I had any general point, it would be that abstractions leak, and that XML would benefit from the creation of a BCP document.

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