[jdom-interest] Stirring up Trouble

Dave Hurrell dave at greatchiro.com
Wed Jul 19 10:25:08 PDT 2000

I disagree.   Good design appears simple and is intuitive.   The basis
of  these discussions it a fundamental design flaw in jdom that breeds
the confusion.  Jdom attempts to store both an elements content and
whether that element exists or not in the same field. --GreatOne

Brett McLaughlin wrote:

> OK, guys, I'm about to wreak some potential havok.
> Because of my book being out, I've been forced to do a bit of "technical
> support" on a lot of Java and XML questions. I'm sure Jason and
> Elliotte, as well as Simon, know what I'm talknig about here. Lots of
> people have latched on to the word "intuitive" in JDOM, as in "it is
> intuitive to use", and warped that thing all out of content. So let's
> set the record straight (for myself, as well).
> "Intuitive to use" and "does what the developer expects" are perhaps
> deceiving terms. JDOM isn't some sort of smart compiler that does the
> right thing even when you tell it to do the wrong thing. It can't fix
> your mistakes, and it won't make up for a complete lack of knowledge
> about XML. In fact, I would say that if you don't know Java or XML at
> all, you have no business complaining about why JDOM doesn't work (you'd
> be surprised at how many mails I get from people who "don't really know
> Java" but find "the examples don't work"). Feel free to lurk and ask
> questions, but don't complain that something you have no idea about
> doesn't magically fix your errors.
> So what does that mean? That I am finding that intuitive is a tough
> word. It means "does what the developer expects, as long as the
> developer's expectations are correct." Sort of tricky, huh? In light of
> that, I find that JDOM should /not/ be intuitive in the case where the
> developer is wrong, as that could encourage really bad concepts and
> practices.
> So, here's the crux of (at least) this email:
> getContent(boolean preserveWhitespace);
> is perfectly intuitive.
> But what does
> getContent()
> do? I'll be the first to admit that I argued and argued that this should
> not return whitespace, because that wasn't intuitive to the user. But if
> the user things XML content ignores whitespace around textual content,
> they would be WRONG. And I would be WRONG to encourage that belief. So
> I'm now advocating that getContent() simply call getContent(true) and
> return text with whitespace around it. I'm so convinced I'm willing to
> make the /very/ painful changes in my book and defend the decision to
> roughly 25000 readers (already!). So let the talks begin, I'm wanting
> this resolved ASAP.
> -Brett
> --
> Brett McLaughlin, Enhydra Strategist
> Lutris Technologies, Inc.
> 1200 Pacific Avenue, Suite 300
> Santa Cruz, CA 95060 USA
> http://www.lutris.com
> http://www.enhydra.org
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