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   Re: Serializations and data structures (was Re: Topic Maps onSQL)

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  • From: "W. Eliot Kimber" <eliot@dns.isogen.com>
  • To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Wed, 25 Nov 1998 11:38:22 -0600

>Well, you can't very well transmit the data model itself between computers
>or down through time. In other words: you must have the serialization
>syntax. The question is: is an explicit specification of the data model 
>of any use?

Do you mean the definition of the data model or instances of data that
conform to it? If you mean the former, then certainly it can be transmitted
reliably because we have a number of standards for doing so, all based on a
formal representation syntax, including the EXPRESS character syntax,
property set definition documents, etc. (I note that UML currently has no
defined character representation, but they are trying to fix that by
defining an XML representation).

If you mean the latter, again, we have defined serialization mechanisms
that allow the data instances to be reliably transmitted: Part 21 of the
STEP standard, the CGR document for groves, etc. One could even argue, I
think, that persistent CORBA objects that reflect the data model are
reliable transmission vehicles (what is a persistent object but a syntactic
representation of the abstraction the object represents--it might be opaque
if it's binary, but it still has a syntax).


<Address HyTime=bibloc>
W. Eliot Kimber, Senior Consulting SGML Engineer
ISOGEN International Corp.
2200 N. Lamar St., Suite 230, Dallas, TX 75202.  214.953.0004

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