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From Brett McLaughlin <new.insta...@gte.net>
Subject JDOM - moving to jdom-interest@jdom.org
Date Thu, 27 Apr 2000 22:09:52 GMT

  I hope we can both agree to move this discussion to
jdom-interest@jdom.org from now on - I am sure lots of people are tired
of hearing us already ;-)

> So, if the DOM is "ridiculously complex", JDOM appears to be
> ridiculously simple... Sorry, I couldn't resist. ;-)

This is sort of the crux of your comments - I address other comments
individually later on.  But this is for the readers who just want to
read a paragraph and click 'Next' ;-)

I understand that DOM is, in a sense, your "baby," as you are both
co-editor of the DOM spec and co-chair of the XML Working Group, and
that you are very involved at the W3C.  Could it be possible that you
are being a bit biased?  I suggest this because you seem to imply that
there is an either-or relationship between DOM and JDOM.  In fact, we go
to great pains to make sure that you can go from DOM or SAX to JDOM, and
from JDOM to DOM or SAX.  This, if anything, indicates we are /very/
committed to standards.  We just feel that if you have standard input
and output, why whould all the stuff "in the middle" give you such a
headache when, in many cases, it doesn't have to?  We are offering Java
developers an alternative.  Certainly as you know, the users will
dictate what is used much more than you or I, right? ;-)  I hope you
will give JDOM the chance that people have given DOM, and where it
works, admit that.  Certainly I am willing to admit where your API does
things that ours doesn't, and point users to you... thanks... my other
comments are below.

> Hi all,
> While I unfortunately missed the presentation last night, I had a look
> at JDOM. I must say that while it is definitely simpler, it can hardly
> compare to the DOM.
> I'll be the first one to say that the DOM is far from being the cleanest
> and leanest API one could dream of but, unlike JDOM, at least it
> truthfully represents XML.

It sounds like there may have been a misunderstanding.  As JDOM is so
new, this is something that tends to happen with exciting products,
especially in the Java and XML arena, where things move so fast.  JDOM
is not intended to be a 100% accurate representation of XML.  Instead,
it is an API specifically for Java developers, and even further, aimed
at Java developers who are perhaps not XML gurus, per say.  While
certainly there are things that you, or I, or other XML-ites may look at
and say "Well, that's not technically correct," these same items are
often the reason that so many developers are so concerned about using
XML, and have such a hard time.

We are very honest about the fact that we seek to solve 80% of the
problems of Java and XML, not 100%.  Additionally, we are very clear
when we deviate.  In fact, in addition to the numerous documentation and
slides where we lay this out, we are adding a FAQ section; this means
there are three clearly marked places.  Honestly, if you read the docs
at all, you can't miss it ;-)  You might want to hop onto
jdom-interest@jdom.org now, as we are discussing some of these features,
and if the goal of "100% accuracy" is worth the price paid for it (re:
DOM, which we both know, for reasons that are legitimate, is a heavy
API).  In some cases, we believe it is not, such as the PI placement
within a document.

However, I want to be clear to you and others that we have not and do
not seek to conceal this; I was a bit put off by your implication that
we were being misleading, as all of our press and docs are very clear
that our goal is usability, and intuitiveness, not to be a replacement
for DOM and SAX in every situation, always.

> The way namespaces are handled show a clear misunderstanding of the
> basics of XML namespaces and, unless a serious redesign is undertaken,
> it will only work for simple cases.

This is also a bit strong of a statement, I think.  I just finished
authoring the O'Reilly book, "Java and XML", and feel I am pretty strong
in the XML world ;-)  There is a difference in simplifying something
(intentionally) to help out the common Java developer, as opposed to not
understanding something at all.  Additionally, we actually removed the
support for scoped namespaces, and it only took about 30 minutes ;-)  So
it's not that big a change at all.  I hope you'll join us on
jdom-interest to find out more about our direction!


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