Sam points out that awk was a complicated beast. Of course, that's true.

Ever typed "man awk" lately? In particular, look at the sheer number of command line options. [ Sam Ruby ]

Awk is not intrinsically simple, nor is the species of whitespace-delimited text that it processes. But neither is XML. In both cases, it's tempting to slide down the slippery slope of definining kitchen-sink formats. Quite often less is more, is all I'm saying.

The state-space explosion that Sean McGrath refers to is, of course, a risk in any kind of patterned data. I think he's right to suggest, though, that when XML explodes in this way, there's a tendency to presume, because of the XMLness of the data, a false simplicity.

By the way, does "XML dogfood" count as a googlewhack? Or are the quotes cheating?

Former URL: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2002/04/18.html#a197