So I’m evaluating a new toy (tentatively titled SpringME) that does IoC bean wiring for mobile right? And I’m feeling a little twinge of N.I.H. which I try to fight off, cool? Cause I want to be the open minded person that treats all innovations equally without bias towards my own obviously superior attempts at solving the same problem. Anyway, I look at the toy and frown up because the author dared to forgo XML for bean configs in favor of Java syntax. I mean, c’mon! We all know that XML is the lingua-de-Frankfurt (mmmmm… Frankfurts…) for configing anything Java don’t we?Ya’ with me here? Well guess what? I’m starting to think that maybe XML isn’t what it’s cranked up to be? Why do we always resort to pointy-brackets whenever we need to externalize an idea?
I’ll tell you why! It’s because we don’t know better. We’re raised from birth and told both to eat our broccoli and terminate our nested <thoughts> with a matching </thoughts>. We attend public schools where XML prologs and DTDs precede the singing of the national anthem. (Don’t blame me, blame your local school district!) Then to top it all off, instead of teaching our kids the gospel according to Luke we over indulge them with the magical wonders of Xerces. What else is a Java dude to do in this day and age? Angle bracket are enforced by our government as the answer to all problems. Even our president has considered augmenting our troops over seas with additional processing instructions and supplementary schemas. (Ok, none of the above actually makes any sense but I am arriving at a point somewhere in this text.)
The point is this… configuration really doesn’t have to be done in XML. I mean yeah, XML is cool and all. It makes you feel good everytime you auto-complete a tag in Eclipse. But what do you really get out of it other than the fact that its a mainstream syntax? What’s wrong with leaning on Java syntax or even a properties file for configuration? Where did all the true Java roughnecks run off too? Holla if ya’ hear me! In my day [story-of-experience age-of-narrator=”31″ voice=”old, shaky, and withered” long-winded=”true” legacy-technology=”involved” point=”lost”]
we would write these oooold RPG programs. They were tied to something called a DDS file which was your screen layout. Whenever we wanteed to externalize something we had these fine-n-dandy data areas. A guy could put anything in the dang data area and the value could be pulled into either the RPG code or even the DDS if I’m not mistaken. There weren’t no danged close data area thingies er none of this new fangled nonsense the youngin’s are into today. Just raw external configurations. Sometimes we wuld get fancy and create a PF (that there is uh Physical File) to hold our doggone data. Now that’s configging!
Where was I? Oh yeah! XML, do we really always need it? Is it really the answer for crime and low income families in Philadelphia? Is there something that we’re all missing? Talk to an old war torn developer and remind yourself where you came from. Hit me up people…