Programming is becoming more like building than it ever used to be. We still haven’t reached the kind of “Software IC” nirvanna laid out in the old book Object-Oriented Programming : An Evolutionary Approach but it’s getting there very slowly. Now you can start to pick up all these different pieces when you look around and you start to see how they might be combined together. Some are tools and some are like different colored and shaped Lego bricks. There are still horrible hurdles to be surmounted because different languages don’t necessarily mesh well, there aren’t a lot of ways to call from machine to machine and from program to program but these are gradually getting easier. XML-RPC, SOAP, XML, and languages that work with a virtual machine like Java and Python are making programs more portable and making them work together better.
This is one of those pieces I pick up periodically and it just looks like it belongs in that toolbox that I’m building mentally. It’s designed to make it easy for you to build programs that pipe XML data back and forth between them for processing. No one program might be able to do everything but given enough translators and workhorse programs to sort, chop, dice, translate, etc. it becomes possible to use something like this for tons of day to day work on everything from image processing to stock portfolio maintenance and website creation. And it would all work because XML can be treated as either a very specific thing relating only to a certain problem domain or it can be treated as a simple hierarchy of elements and attributes. But a good framework to work with it is always a start: XPipe