# Wednesday, March 03, 2004

I'm in the midst of doing some integration with a third party company, and their XML is driving me loony.  The worst part is, it's not something you can quite put your finger on.  Their XML is, in fact, well formed.  It might be valid, except that the DTDs they provided us with aren't internally valid, at least according to XMLSpy

I guess the biggest thing that bugs me is that their XML is, like, so 1997.  They're still using DTDs.  Every single element in the entire InfoSet is defined as a global element and then referenced.  Not a single attribute appears anywhere, so everything is element-normalized to an unhealthy extreme.  It just seems like XML that dates from a time when our ancestors didn't quite grasp the XML concept.  Anybody remember DSSSL?  It's like that.  Only well formed. :-)

And did I mention namespaces?  No?  Not a namespace declaration to be found anywhere. 

It's not "wrong" XML, it's just "wrong headed" XML.  Or maybe I'm just an effete, schema-writing elitist.  It's a tough call. 

This is what's holding back the dream of XML biz-to-biz integration.  Lack of progress in understanding how to use XML, not XML itself. 

XML