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From Arnaud Le Hors <leh...@us.ibm.com>
Subject Re: parser-next-gen goals, plan, and requirements
Date Wed, 12 Jul 2000 21:54:10 GMT
Eric Hodges wrote:
> So why is the DOM API so bloated and ugly?  Why doesn't it use Java
> collections?

Because one of the requirements of the DOM was to be language
independent. Most companies don't just use one language. They use a
variety of tools and components that are in different languages. There
is a lot of benefits for them to have a single API across the board. It
reduces education costs, support costs, etc...

>  Why are there so many non-obvious steps required just to parse
> a document?

The DOM doesn't deal with parsing at all for now, so I don't understand
what this is about.

> I already know why because you told me.

So why do you ask??

> W3C's job was to make several
> different implementations happy with one API.  The result is an API that
> doesn't make anyone happy.

That's most often what happens with standards. XML 1.0 itself doesn't
satisfy everybody for that matter. Does it mean we should through it
away and start over? I don't think so. Some have tried.

The important point is that it's better to have a standard then no
standard at all.

I know it's hard to accept/understand that. I have an academic
background; for years I worked as a research engineer where I had the
luxury of having the time to develop my applications entirely from
scratch. No constraints at all. I could aim for the best and the
cleanest of all. Working at the X Consortium and W3C after that, I have
had to learn the industrial reality. It was quite a chock at first.
Especially at W3C where I started by working on HTML, by far the most
controversial place at the time. There I learned that the priorities in
the industry are very different from what I might dream of. But I also
learned that there are good reasons for that.

Sorry if this sounds boring. I'm just trying to say that, while I
understand why people don't like the DOM, they should understand why
things are the way they are. And why I think throwing it away and
starting over isn't necessarily the best thing to do.

> Isn't it too late?  Are they going to throw away the current API?

No, they (we) aren't going to throw away the current API. I don't think
there is any chance nor any point in doing this (given what I just
explained). But the WG will certainly consider specific issues and see
if/how they can be addressed. A read-only DOM is on the list of issues
to be addressed for DOM Level 3 for instance.
Arnaud  Le Hors - IBM Cupertino, XML Technology Group

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