Re: open email to the W3C
- From: "Oliver Wong" <owong@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 20:24:47 GMT
"The Ghost In The Machine" <ewill@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in
> One thing going in XML's favor is its ease of being read by humans.
> However, that's not as strong an argument as people feel it is;
> ever tried to read voltages from a twitching voltmeter connected
> to a coax cable or an RJ45 subassembly? That's the "native" form
> of HTTP, XML, what have you. (Or one can try sprinkling iron
> filings onto a disk drive that's been disassembled. Of course
> the data from said disk drive will probably be forever lost, and
> opening the drive voids one's warranty, etc.)
> How does one read ASCII? Answer: with a program, such as more
> (or less), vi, gedit, notepad, kedit, xedit, etc. All of these
> depend on other things -- the C library, for the most part,
> with jedit an interesting exception; it depends on Java.
The argument for ASCII is a pragmatic one. All the platforms I know of
(Windows, Mac, *nux) come with ASCII viewer/editors pre-installed. If I have
a ASN.1 viewer installed on my computer, I certainly don't know about it.
Sure, it doesn't have to be that way. From a technical point of view,
there's no reason why you couldn't bundle an ASN.1 (or any other format)
viewer with every operating system out there. But that's just not the way it
is today, which is why ASCII makes sense today (and Unicode/UTF-8/UTF-16
makes sense in the near future).
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