[jdom-interest] Re: First impressions and some suggestions
jhunter at acm.org
Tue Jun 13 10:43:33 PDT 2000
> This method could reasonably be called getROT13Content(). However, to
> call it getContent() just because you had a lot of ROT13 content
> mixed in with a little or even no non-ROT13 content would be wrong.
Right, because a programmer would reasonably expect getContent() to
return non-ROT13 content. However, with JDOM a programmer would
reasonably expect getContent() to return content with trimmed
whitespace. Remember, Elliotte, you wrote a book called "The XML
Bible". Your expectations may be a little skewed. I was sitting there
at JavaOne when the XML Parser presenter said, "What's confusing here is
that you get this whitespace you don't expect." That's very telling! I
say give the programmer -- the one who didn't write a book on XML and
just wants to get their program working -- what they expect and most
often need. Allow the guru to do their job as well.
> But names do have meanings, and we shouldn't arbitrarily change them.
> The meaning of the word "content" in JDOM should be the same as in
> the XML 1.0 spec and all other related specs. Unfortunately, not
> enough attention has been paid to this issue in the past and there
> are indeed terminology conflicts between different specs as well as
> much third party documentation. Some of this confusion I've
> contributed to myself, I'm sorry to say. However, none of this
> resolves us of our responsibility to do the best, most accurate job
> we can despite living in an imperfect world.
I could almost be convinved if it was only getContent() we were talking
about, but I simply have tremendous resistance to having
getMixedContent() on this:
<!-- a demo -->
String "\n "
String "\n "
It was this behavior that first made me say "What the hell?" when I used
DOM a year ago. Maybe such behavior most closely matches XML spec
terminology, but JDOM isn't a tool for teaching XML. JDOM is a tool for
getting a job done, and the target demographic (someone who hasn't read
the XML spec and really doesn't care to) will prefer the expected
behavior. And from my previous email, I think I've made the point that
while you believe the API has methods you'd like to rename, we still
provide the complete functionality required in this area required by the
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