[xquery-talk] Text Markup vs Data Serialization - Was RE: min max and mix

David Lee dlee at calldei.com
Mon Feb 10 04:43:03 PST 2014

Possibly better discussed on xml mailing lists ... but ... 
This thread has me thinking ... That XML, while originally a form of Text markup (you start with text and add Markup) is of dual use as Data Serialization.
*Even in the same document* ...
This can be confusing but its also powerful.   

My opinion is that the compromises made to allow this "Dual Use", while not perfect and not quite equal in each use case, are really amazing.
I cannot think of any other markup or serialization format which does better at accommodating both use cases as equal citizens reasonably well.
So much so that with XML you can come from a Data background and rarely run into anything awful (sometimes unexpected like the min/max thing),
or you can come from a Text/Document background and never even imagine that your documents could be considered "data" (you're not going to run sum() on a paragraph ... )
AND you can come from both hats at once and intermix and overlay the concepts ... if your clever enough :)
(e.g. you might run count() on the *words* in a text document or add data tables to a text document or add rich text to a data document).

Not trying to start a markup war, just reflecting on the philosophy that is embedded in XML and its tools.

talk at x-query.com

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