Re: How to to convert object to XML string and back again

Le Chaud Lapin <>
Thu, 20 Dec 2007 10:49:35 CST
{ it seems the discussion veers away from C++ toward XML. please
  consider bringing it back or wrapping it up. thanks. -mod }

On Dec 19, 6:56 pm, "" <>

On Dec 19, 3:10 pm, Le Chaud Lapin <> wrote:

I get asked about once every 3-4 months by a Java/C#/C++-Convert
programmer if I know of a good package to do XML to C++ conversion. I
respond by asking them an equally senseless, equally irritating

-Le Chaud Lapin-

It may not be up to the poster, they could be communicating with some
other app/system/library that needs xml for something. There are many
things about our jobs that we have no control over.


That's why is so important that, as engineers, we remain critical of
new technology. It's ok for non-engineers (those who manage engineers
notwithstanding) to feed the hype monster, but it's not ok for us.

If we were having a discussion about cold-fusion or protein folding, I
would be more forgiving, as those concepts are difficult and
inaccessible to the average engineer, but XML is very low-tech. There
is no heinous math, no requirement of mental manipulation in 10
dimensions, no deep knowledge of physics required, or need for insight
into the theory of computation.

No, its just a vague prescription of how to organize state encoded as
an associative polyarchy of strings, a data format, and most XML-fans
blindly follow this format it because it implicitly acknowledges a
virute of systems engineer, they hierarchy, while simultaneosly being
intepretable by human beings.

A small amount of critical thinking, lasting for perhaps 30 minutes,
should be sufficient for the average C++ programmer to arrive at the
conconclusion that there is no magic. And even without such critical
thinking, the first time a programmer tries to get their C++ objects
to magically put themselves to and from disk without human
intervention using abitrary encodings of state (string or not), the
severe intellectual pinching that results should be an indicator that
they are embarking upon the path of futility.

Instead, we have the very situation that you describe: 100,000's of
programmers, staring at their XML thinking, "Hmm....I'm looking at
this XML, and it is patently obvious to me what it means and what its
structure why is it so hard for me to develop a framework so
that the code can know what it means?"

The answer is simple:

People can read. Computers cannot.

-Le Chaud Lapin-

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