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Performance Comparison of the Java Implementation of ATerms and XML

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Executive Summary

ATerms are the ubiquitous data exchange format used in The Meta-Environment. ATerms were designed with a specific application domain in mind: exchanging parse tables, parse trees and other source code related data that emerges in the context of Interactive Development Environments and tools for source code analysis and transformation. World-wide, XML is the defacto standard for data exchange in many application domains and an obvious question to ask is how ATerms and XML compare regarding speed a size. This paper will compare the Java implementation of the ATerm library against the most commonly used Java XML Parser implementation (Xerces), by means of a series of experiments.

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