Fear and Loathing in XML Land

I must confess I’ve been learning to love XML, but it hasn’t been
always like this.

When I’ve first seen it, I thought it was a cool idea, but it didn’t
seem like it could achieve a practical value for me. After all, at
that time I was a VB programmer, and my concept of useful was dragging
buttons to draw forms
and use Access for databases wink.

But time has passed, and I started to hear more and more about this
beast. Particularly since I’ve met Paul, which I think from the
persons that I talk to regularly, is the one who believes more than
anyone in XMLTopia, a world where all applications will be able to
interchange information using XML.

I fear though, that I may have joined the wave way too late. Now
that I’m starting to effectively use XML, I see more and more starting
to use RDF in practice. Yes, RDF can be serialized to and from
XML. However it seems like this serialization can occur in several
different ways, and still keep the same semantic value.

I’ve been working hard to try to make some sense out of the semantic
web
, specially since it seems to be gaining speed amongst some
developers that I know. However, I must confess that it melts my brain
to try to follow their conversations. I’ve spent a couple hours
chatting with Joe ‘Arnia’ Geldart and it took me a full 3 days to
digest just about 5% of the information he gave me :)

Anyway, as I’ve said already, the situation is improving on my
end. I’ve spent most of the last two weeks on building a import/export
framework for Archetypes-based products
. There’s a good summary about
it on PLIP44, which btw, I should update to reflect some of the
changes I’ve done to the xml dialect and schema.

To finish, it has been a pleasant time working on this. Much more
pleasant than I would expect, and I really hope more and more people
start drinking the XML kool-aid so we can meet all in XMLTopia one day!

One thought on “Fear and Loathing in XML Land

  1. Yaml Alternative
    I’ve been experimenting with PyYaml and Archetypes. Here is some sample output you may be interested in…. (more info on yaml <a href="http://blog.99hats.com/58">here</a&gt;)

    <pre>
    CODE:

    import yaml
    return yaml.d(self.Schema().fields())

    OUTPUT:


    – !!Products.Archetypes.Field.StringField
    __name__: id
    _layers:
    storage: !!Products.Archetypes.Storage.AttributeStorage {}
    accessor: getId
    default: ~
    default_content_type: text/plain
    default_method: ~
    edit_accessor: getRawId
    enforceVocabulary: 0
    force: ”
    generateMode: veVc
    index: ~
    isMetadata: 0
    languageIndependent: False
    mode: rw
    multiValued: 0
    mutator: setId
    read_permission: View
    required: 0
    schemata: default
    searchable: 0
    storage: !!Products.Archetypes.Storage.AttributeStorage {}
    type: string
    validators:
    handlers: []
    strategy: and
    vocabulary: []
    widget: !!Products.Archetypes.Widget.IdWidget
    _processed: 0
    condition: ”
    description: Should not contain spaces, underscores or mixed case. Short Name is part of the item’s web address.
    description_msgid: help_shortname
    display_autogenerated: 1
    helper_css: []
    helper_js: []
    i18n_domain: plone
    is_autogenerated: isIDAutoGenerated
    label: Short Name
    label_msgid: label_short_name
    macro: widgets/zid
    modes:
    – view
    – edit
    populate: 1
    postback: 1
    show_content_type: 0
    visible:
    view: invisible
    write_permission: Modify portal content
    – !!Products.Archetypes.Field.StringField
    __name__: title
    _layers:
    storage: !!Products.Archetypes.Storage.AttributeStorage {}
    accessor: Title
    default: ”
    default_content_type: text/plain
    default_method: ~
    edit_accessor: getRawTitle
    enforceVocabulary: 0
    force: ”
    generateMode: veVc
    index: ~
    isMetadata: 0
    languageIndependent: False
    mode: rw
    multiValued: 0
    mutator: setTitle
    read_permission: View
    required: 1
    schemata: default
    searchable: 1
    storage: !!Products.Archetypes.Storage.AttributeStorage {}
    type: string
    validators:
    handlers: []
    strategy: and
    vocabulary: []
    widget: !!Products.Archetypes.Widget.StringWidget
    _processed: 0
    condition: ”
    description: ”
    helper_css: []
    helper_js: []
    i18n_domain: plone
    label: Title
    label_msgid: label_title
    macro: widgets/string
    maxlength: ‘255’
    modes:
    – view
    – edit
    populate: 1
    postback: 1
    show_content_type: 0
    size: ’30’
    visible:
    edit: visible
    view: visible
    write_permission: Modify portal content
    – !!Products.Archetypes.Field.StringField
    __name__: allowDiscussion
    _layers:
    storage: !!Products.Archetypes.Storage.MetadataStorage {}
    accessor: isDiscussable
    default: ~
    default_content_type: text/plain
    default_method: ~
    edit_accessor: getRawAllowDiscussion
    enforceVocabulary: 1
    force: ”
    generateMode: mVc
    index: ~
    isMetadata: 1
    languageIndependent: False
    mode: rw
    multiValued: 0
    mutator: allowDiscussion
    read_permission: View
    required: 0
    schemata: metadata
    searchable: 0
    storage: !!Products.Archetypes.Storage.MetadataStorage {}
    type: string
    validators:
    handlers: []
    strategy: and
    vocabulary: !!Products.Archetypes.utils.DisplayList
    _i18n_msgids: {}
    _itor:
    – 0
    – 1
    – ~
    _keys:
    None:
    – 3
    – Default
    0:
    – 1
    – Disabled
    1:
    – 2
    – Enabled
    _values:
    Default:
    – 3
    – ~
    Disabled:
    – 1
    – 0
    Enabled:
    – 2
    – 1
    index: 3
    widget: !!Products.Archetypes.Widget.SelectionWidget
    _processed: 0
    condition: ”
    description: ”
    description_msgid: help_allow_discussion
    format: flex
    helper_css: []
    helper_js: []
    i18n_domain: plone
    label: Allow Discussion?
    label_msgid: label_allow_discussion
    macro: widgets/selection
    modes:
    – view
    – edit
    populate: 1
    postback: 1
    show_content_type: 0
    visible:
    edit: visible
    view: visible
    write_permission: Modify portal content
    – !!Products.Archetypes.Field.LinesField
    __name__: subject
    _layers:
    storage: !!Products.Archetypes.Storage.MetadataStorage {}
    accessor: Subject
    default: []
    default_method: ~
    edit_accessor: getRawSubject
    enforceVocabulary: 0
    force: ”
    generateMode: mVc
    index: ~
    isMetadata: 1
    languageIndependent: False
    mode: rw
    multiValued: 1
    mutator: setSubject
    read_permission: View
    required: 0
    schemata: metadata
    searchable: 0
    storage: !!Products.Archetypes.Storage.MetadataStorage {}
    type: lines
    validators:
    handlers: []
    strategy: and
    vocabulary: []
    widget: !!Products.Archetypes.Widget.KeywordWidget
    _processed: 0
    condition: ”
    description: ”
    description_msgid: help_keyword
    helper_css: []
    helper_js: []
    i18n_domain: plone
    label: Keywords
    label_msgid: label_keywords
    macro: widgets/keyword
    modes:
    – view
    – edit
    populate: 1
    postback: 1
    roleBasedAdd: 1
    show_content_type: 0
    size: 5
    visible:
    edit: visible
    view: visible
    vocab_source: portal_catalog
    write_permission: Modify portal content

    </pre>

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