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   Re: Topic Maps on SQL

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  • From: len bullard <cbullard@hiwaay.net>
  • To: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
  • Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998 18:14:36 -0600

Tim Bray wrote:
> You know, this goes straight to the core of a deep issue.  Where
> I have often felt out of sync with the grove/property-set evangelists
> is that I perceive syntax as fundamental and any particular
> data model as ephemeral.  I guess I must admit that I don't believe in
> "information standards that are independent of lexical/syntax
> representation".

Fair enough.  OTFOH, is it like DTDs, a matter of when and where 
you use them and for what?  If for the sake of performance, 
clear text based standards must resolve to a binary standard 
(ie, the player only knows how to play a binary), then it may 
be the case that ANY clear text representation works as long as 
the values of the properties expressed are equivalent.  In other 
words, the curly vs pointy bracket debates are only important 
to the loader.  For that situation, what kind of standard 
expression is most useful for the sake of getting agreement on 
the application standard? For many years many of us relied on 
DTDs to do this and it worked pretty well.  Now we have the 
concept of the well-formed (context-free) file.  Because this 
approach is espoused on several lists now, and XML is touted as 
the example, the answers to these questions become more important. 
If answered, it might avoid a lot of work for a lot of people 
for a long time.


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