[mmox] XML serialization

Catherine Pfeffer <cathypfeffer@gmail.com> Mon, 23 February 2009 10:38 UTC

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Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2009 11:39:07 +0100
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From: Catherine Pfeffer <cathypfeffer@gmail.com>
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Subject: [mmox] XML serialization
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Jon Watte wrote:
> > Meadhbh Hamrick (Infinity) wrote:
> > <llsd>
> >   <map>
> >     <key>success</key>
> >     <boolean>true</boolean>
> >     <key>something_i_like_to_eat_on_sundays</key>
> >     <string>bananas</string>
> >   </map>
> > </llsd>
> IMO, that's a terrible serialization, because it depends on ordering.
> While XML is ordered, this particular serialization makes it hard to
> write XPath that selects "the string that comes after key success but
> before key something_i_like_to_eat_on_sundays".

Yes, I have already made this very same remark to Infinity in private.

The "classical way" to solve this is to add new wrapper tags:


but that would make the "angle bracket tax" even more expensive to pay...

It's not *that* complicated in XPath (following-sibling axis is made for
that). But it's just... well... unusual practice in the XML world.

I have the strong feeling that depending on the order is calling for
trouble, although I have not found yet examples where it would lead to real
problems, other than ugly XPath constructions or unusual DTD fragments.