IPC, RPC, Protocol to use between fe/be?

Jesse Tie Ten Quee highos at highos.com
Fri Jun 15 23:30:49 PDT 2001


On Sat, Jun 16, 2001 at 12:39:33AM -0400, Simon Perreault wrote:
> Our data will be useful for only one thing: be executed one after another. 
> You may dream all you want about doing all kind of wonderful things with a 
> profile, but it will not happen, be it XML or anything else.

So what?

You know.. i think someone said something similar to that effect about perl
when it first started, i think everyone has proved that wrong so far, i
don't want to limit us in any way, which i doubt anyone would, but...

Really, if we use RPM we would be stuck with a proprietary binary
format, we would *need* to have RPM installed on that system, we could
not use it on a Debian system, or a Slackware system, or even an LFS
system without installing RPM.

I though we wanted to create a framework, not a solution.

All the profiles are right now, is a small, tiny, formatted text file.

We can extend the tags and the formatting as much as we want, we would
not be restricted to a single tool or mothed, we would not be restricted
to a single language or tool.. last time i checked, XML is only a text
file, and every major language can parse text fairly well, no?

As for using shell scripts... in my not so humble opinion, writting
profiles as shell scripts is a hell of alot harder then writting them in
a markup language.

We do, after all, want to make it easy for everyone and anyone to make
ALFS profiles, right?

Sure, using shell scripts would give the user alot of freedom...but that
also gives us no control, with XML tags it only defines the data, not
*how* it's suppose to be executed, or anything else, just the
infomration it will need to get the job done, it could care less how it
is done, in what language, or anything else, as long as the effect is
the same when it's finished.

Now, these comments are more web-oriented, but read them and think about
what is said, id put more here, but...if you want to know more, buy the
damn book =)

The XML Handbook, Charles F. Goldfarb

    "XML is a simplified subset of SGML.  The subsetting was optimized
for Web environment, which implies data-processing-oriented (rather that
publishing-oriented), short life-span (in fact, usually
dynamicllly-generated) information.  The vast majority of XML documents
will be created by computer programs and processed by other programs,
then destroyed, Humans will never see them."

The XML Handbook, Jon Bosak

    "XML is a tremendous victory for open standards.  It is freely
extensible, imposing no limits on the ability of users to define markup
in any combination of the world's major natural languages; it is
character-based and human-readable, which means that XML documents can
be maintained using even the most primitive text processing tools; and
it is relatively easy to implement, so users can look forward to an
abundance of inexpensive commercial XML processing tools and an
ever-growing number of free ones.
    Most importandly, XML Provides a standard framework for making
agreements about communication.  It allows people sharing a common data
exchange problem to work out an open solution to that problem - without
interference from third parties, without dependence on large software
vendors, without bindings to specific tools, without language
restrictions, and in a way that lets anyone with a similar problem use
the same solution.  While the task of defining such standard is within
each industry and user community still lies before us, the framework for
doing so is now in place.
    Nevertherless, we must not lose sight of the larger goal.  True
interoperability requires not just interoperable syntax, but
interoperable semantics.  This ultimate goal cannot be achieved with
anything less than the standardization of meaning itself, at least in
those areas in which we wish to achieve automatic interoperability.
    The coming standardization of domain-specific element types and
attributes will establish the semantically meaningful labeling of
content in particular industries, but it cannot address the behavioral
aspects.  While interoperable languages like Java, such as powerful tool
is often disproportionate to simple tasks.  Just as we cannot ask our
airline pilots to be aircraft engineers, we cannot require every creator
of meaning to also be a programmer."

I'll keep digging for more reasons to use XML if you guys want and
better descriptions and everything else why XML is "better" then
anything else, but... the more time we waste talking about why XML is
the "right" thing to use, the more time we waste ;)

Jesse Tie Ten Quee - highos at highos dot com
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