Re: XML Alternatives

James Kanze <>
comp.programming, comp.lang.c++
Tue, 12 Feb 2008 03:15:29 -0800 (PST)
On Feb 12, 9:54 am, Lars Uffmann <> wrote: wrote:

XML was designed for text documents and publishing. If you are
considering XML for general data (serialization, configuration etc.)

I just had a short look and already gave up after 2 minutes: I've never
heard about any of the linked formats before, and I want others to be
able to read my data. I am about to store configuration data in xml
format, and I will do so because I think the best configuration data
storage format is plain-text readible, which is the case for xml. At
least whenever it makes sense that users can have a look at
configuration files and maybe modify them by hand.

Many different formats are plain-text, and for simpler data, XML
is definitely overkill, and more difficult for both human readers
and the program than some other formats. For a lot of
configuration files, the Microsoft .ini format is fine, or even
just simple attribute value pairs (e.g. the format in each
section of a Microsoft .ini format).

Once you have a more structured format, of course, you probably
want to use XML, if for no other reason than that it is
standard. But be aware that while human readable, it isn't
easily human readable, and that it requires a lot more resources
than some simpler formats.

James Kanze (GABI Software)
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