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From Dan Madoni <>
Subject RE: [Jelly] Executable XML vs. Rich Configuration
Date Thu, 12 May 2005 18:16:22 GMT
I'm not sure how the argument can be made that processing semantics written
in XML are more accessible than any well-designed language. If you were to
write an XML parser from scratch to handle Jelly scripts for instance (and
don't forget to include parsing requirements for JEXL and other Jelly
dependencies), it's likely you would require as much or more time developing
code that can discern XML Jelly script semantics than if you went through
the same exercise in writing, say, a C parser.

Existing XML parsers typically provide API's that transform XML semantically
from a mark-up language to a DOM representation. In this sense, XML
semantics are easily accessible, but no less easily than any parser which
transformed any structured language into a DOM representation.

Then again, it may be apples and oranges to make this sort of comparison,
but your assertion implies that such a comparison exists to begin with.

In terms of human accessibility, I'd heartily disagree, acknowledging that
the predication is a subjective one in any case. It certainly isn't true in
my case: my experience with using XML as a programming language is that it
is much more cumbersome to express or discern something meaningful relative
to programming languages that were designed from the outset to be
programming languages.

Perhaps the most powerful argument against both of those assertions is your
own observation that "most people" have the same visceral reaction. The
instinctive repulsion to the idea of "executable XML" is not unlike the
reaction one might have to the idea of using a screw driver to pound a nail.

Jelly is fabulous and certainly has its place; but as long as it is
positioned as "executable XML", which sounds about as relevant as
"Spreadsheet: The Video Game", few will understand or bother to investigate
its usefulness.

-----Original Message-----
From: Emmanouil Batsis [] 
Sent: Thursday, May 12, 2005 12:25 AM
To: Jakarta Commons Users List
Subject: Re: [Jelly] Executable XML vs. Rich Configuration

Paul Libbrecht wrote:

> I agree "executable XML" may suck

With an emphasis on "may" ;-)

This seems to be a common feeling. I never understood how most people 
dismiss so easily the fact that processing semantics written in XML are 
far more accessible (for humans and programs alike) than their non-XML 


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