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   Re: Web server logs in XML?

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  • From: Dean Roddey <roddey@us.ibm.com>
  • To: <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Fri, 2 Oct 1998 14:07:23 -0400

"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.


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
data-storage. "

I have to agree with your sentiments in many ways. Basically there is always a
tendency towards
seeing everything as a nail when you just have a hammer (witness the Java
phenomenon.) I believe
that overselling any technology is probably a bad thing and I think that XML is
being way oversold
in some cases (in many cases for no other reason than to increase a products
'buzz word quotient').

I assume that the market will prevail and stomp any really insane applications,
but I'm not always
sure of that. So here is my suggestion: CXML (pronounced sex-em-el in order to
make the
marketing types happy!)


    <Include File="stdio.h"/>

    <ReturnVal Type="int"/>
        <Function Name="main" Proto="int (*)(int, char**)">
            <Call Function="printf" Format="%s\n" Text="Hello Word"/>
            <Return Value="1"/>

What do you think? I believe I might have something here :-)

I think that we should keep in mind that we are using one of the piggiest
languages in the world to
access one of the least efficient object models in the world. Only where there
are gains to be had
that are signficant enough to overcome these problems should XML be the
technology chosen to
solve the problem. There are many applications I've seen discussed where I
would have just
spent the 8 hours required to write a small custom parser and gotten 20 times
the performance
for about the same amount of work.

Obviously in a data exchange situation with third parties it can make a lot of
sense, and for
document exchange it makes plenty of sense. But using it for a database format
or store store
a large amount of text like a log (which probably has such a simple format that
it could easily
be transformed to XML for export if that was required but which could until
then be stored far more
easily and efficiently in some other way) or as a replacement for a very
efficient binary format
(which can also be transformed to XML when the need arises without paying for
the overhead
all of the time), I think that many of these are just solutions looking
desparately for a problem that
someone else has already solved better.

Just my opinion of course... I'm not trying to squash XML, since I'm getting
paid to do it these
days. I just think that overselling a technology is worse in the end than
admitting its not the answer
to world hunger. I think that Java has suffered tremendously by being sold as a
solution for
things its not up to dealing with.

Dean Roddey
Software Weenie
IBM Center for Java Technology - Silicon Valley

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