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   Re: Web server logs in XML?

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  • From: Michael Ax <ax@href.com>
  • To: <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 23:21:52 -0700


Please pardon my chiming in... I try, but I'm not quite up to speed with
everything that's going on here and I have the nagging suspicion that I am
missing something big. 

Could someone please explain to me the difference why one would want to,
oh, lets be conservative, quadrupple the amount of data to be processed by
logging XML-enties rather than using XML to describe the structure of the

It makes a lot of sense to me to think about each log-entry as an XML
entity, but I have a hard time fathoming that anyone would want to go to
the extreme which I understand is being discussed here.  

I have close to 10gb of web-server logs from the last 2 yrs and while this
is theoretically appealing I, perhaps short-sightedly, have read everything
that goes on here with an eye toward using XML as a, well, markup language
used for universal exchange, not as the be-all & end all of native

But perhaps I've ignorantly assumed that there would be something like a
log/data file and an XML description of the data which I could use as
inputs to filters that would have the ability to let me seek through and
utilize such data and which might perhaps have the smarts to
translate/copy/move contents from one meta-data-structure to another. ..
sort-of, kind-of like an object-oriented file-system might.

e.g. what's the benefit of this crazy seeming thread-subject, and why don't
I get it? 

So, can somebody please elaborate or point me to more info about how XML
and Meta-Data are supposed to co-exist these days or to whatever happened
to the great database debate? Did someone kill the DBAs? Who's keeping score?

I have no question that XML will grow to rule the world, but I'm trembling
at the thought that somebody might take all of the science discussed here a
bit to literally and force me to get another 5 or 6 10gb drives and make me
keep my logs in raw xml. 

Many thanks,

Best Regards,
Michael Ax

p.s. the log file business if doubly scary in light of my experiences that
3NF typically nets a 16:1 compression. Am I misreading something? Is XML
trying to describe a storage or a representation/exchange format? are there
proposals for middle-layers/ translation filters? os-plug-ins?

At 10:11 PM 9/30/98 , Don Park wrote:
>You are right about the first draft of the XLF spec being not much of a spec
>but a list of ideas and promises (you were always good at cutting through
>the bull#$!@).  If you want an example, you will have to make one up
>yourself because there isn't one except for the fragments found in various
>XLF documents, proposals, and the archived messages.

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