[jdom-interest] JDOM vs. Java XML Data Binding

Scott Ellsworth scott at alodar.com
Wed Mar 21 12:45:17 PST 2001

Aleksi Kallio makallio at saunalahti.fi  wrote on Mon, 19 Mar 2001 19:01:50 +0200

 >What are you opinions on Merlin (ie. JDK 1.4) and its Java XML Data
 >Binding? Will it kill JDOM? Will they coexist? Is it even reasonably to
 >compare them?

I do not find them reasonable to compare.  JDOM is a good tool to do such a 
binding before 1.4, but all of my use of the tool is as a means of building 
or parsing an XML document.  Those documents that are a direct 
representation of an object may well end up expressed in the new 1.4 tools, 
but most documents I work with are not.

For example, Apple writes out OS X property lists in XML.  If I wish to 
read such a property list programatically in a Java program, the best way 
to do it is likely to read it with JDOM.

A second example: I have a program that generates RuneQuest character 
sheets.  These are eventually printed from a web browser, and will be done 
from pdfs as soon as I learn FOP.  I use xalan to generate them from the 
core XML format, thus I do not really want them expressed as collections of 
objects suited for Java, but as pure structured data to be reformatted for 
display in other packages.  Thus, the new 1.4 tools will not help me, but 
JDOM will.

One of my clients may well end up using it to generate/read a query to be 
sent to a rather complicated database.  We have not entirely decided yet.

Thus, JDOM and the new tools have very different missions.  JDOM exists to 
create and interpret disk and memory images of XML, while the new tools in 
1.4 are focused on the very important object serialization problem which 
has plagued Java from the start.  (This limited subset of the overall data 
binding problem I suspect they may well have solved, at least in the Swing 
domain.  The larger scale problem I am less certain of, and do not expect 

Scott Ellsworth
scott at alodar.com

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