Simon Willison’s Weblog

Entries tagged xml

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Exploring the UK Register of Members Interests with SQL and Datasette

Ever wondered which UK Members of Parliament get gifted the most helicopter rides? How about which MPs have been given Christmas hampers by the Sultan of Brunei? (David Cameron, William Hague and Michael Howard apparently). Here’s how to dig through the Register of Members Interests using SQL and Datasette.

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Has JSON pretty much replaced XML for string processing for the web, or are there use cases where XML is still necessary?

It’s replaced XML as the default format for most APIs. XML is still necessary for Atom/RSS feeds and other existing standards built on top of XML. It’s also a better choice than JSON for markup-style data—stuff like XHTML where tags are applied to sequences of characters within larger chunks of text.

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What are XML feed best practices?

It sounds like you’re pretty much screwed already, if you’re dealing with companies that still think FTPing XML around is a sensible thing to do.

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What is the difference between XHTML 1.0 strict and transitional?

Not a lot. XHTML transitional lets you use a few presentational attributes and elements that aren’t available in XHTML strict. Here’s a more detailed overview from back in 2005: http://24ways.org/2005/transitio...

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A few notes on the Guardian Open Platform

This morning we launched the Guardian Open Platform at a well attended event in our new offices in Kings Place. This is one of the main projects I’ve been helping out with since joining the Guardian last year, and it’s fantastic to finally have it out in the open.

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Why JSON isn’t just for JavaScript

Dave Winer’s discovery of JSON (and shock that “it’s not even XML”) has triggered an interesting discussion thread, on his blog and elsewhere. Plenty of people have re-assured him (and themselves) that it’s only used for JavaScript—it’s convenient in the browser but irrelevant elsewhere.

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More YAML

Paul Tchistopolskii’s XML Alternatives reminded me to take another look at YAML. The specification has been updated since I last looked and seems to be a bit more complicated, but it’s still a very nicely designed format. Implementations are available for Perl, Python and Ruby with C and Java on the way but strangely no one seems to be doing one for PHP yet. I’m doing a course at Uni on compilers at the moment which includes quite a lot of stuff about writing parsers so I’m very tempted to have a go at a YAML implementation in the next few weeks just to try stuff out. The possibility of easily swapping relatively complex data structures between PHP and Python is pretty tempting as well.

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XML security on SitePoint

Getting Started with XML Security is a SitePoint article of epic proportions. I had never really looked at any of the XML security applications but this article appears to cover the lot.

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