XML for formatting (Re: Environment monitoring)

Donald Becker becker at scyld.com
Thu Oct 16 17:54:31 EDT 2003

On Thu, 16 Oct 2003, Dale Harris wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 16, 2003 at 12:02:18PM -0400, Donald Becker elucidated:
> > 
> > What you want is not XML, but a data format description language.
> I think the S-expression guys would say that they have one.  And it is
> supermon uses, FWIW.

No, S-expressions are an ancient concept, developed back in the early
days of computing.  They were needed in Lisp to linearize tree
structures so that they could be saved to, uhmm, paper tape or clay tablets.

Sexprs are oriented toward "structured" data.  In this context
"structured" means "Lisp-like linked lists" rather than "a series of 'C'

More directly related concepts are
   XDR, part of SunRPC
   MPI packed data
   Object brokers
all of which are trying to solve similar problem.  But, except for a few
of the "object broker" systems, they don't have the metadata language to
translate between domains.  For instance, you can't take MPI packed data
   automatically convert it to (useful) XML,
   pass it to an object broker system, or
   call a non-MPI remote procedure

Donald Becker				becker at scyld.com
Scyld Computing Corporation		http://www.scyld.com
914 Bay Ridge Road, Suite 220		Scyld Beowulf cluster system
Annapolis MD 21403			410-990-9993

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