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Re: advocating XML Re: advocating XML Re:advocating XML Re: advocating XML Re: advocating XML


        Perhaps your manager would accept a hybrid solution.  We
have developed a data description language called XDF (eXtensible Data Format).
It lets you keep your data in delimited files (one can use any string
for the delimiter), or use fixed-width format specifications, or use
XML tags.  The data are described fully in a separate (metadata) XDF document 
and links to the data are via non-parsed external entities.  The XDF
explains the dimensions of the data cube (axis information), column  headers,
units, notes, notes on individual items in the data, etc.  There is an API which
allows you to access the structures, arrays, or parameters; edit them, and write
them out again while keeping the XDF document up to date.  The API is
implemented in Perl and Java (beta testing now).  It is particularly useful for 
managing/interchanging large data sets when you want XML but don't want to bloat
the data with tags because tranfer times are already nearly intolerable.


Ed Shaya
Chief Scientist
Astronomical Data Center/NASA

>My (web) manager at work has asked me to convince him that XML and XHTML are
>anything but a waste of time, and I have thus far not succeeded. He cares,
>but only slightly, that XML can be used to separate data from its
>presentation, and considers XHTML only pointless bloat that he feels won't
>catch on. He feels that a comma-delimited file is better in every visible
>way over XML for data storage, and is under the impression that XML has no

>Can anyone help me out a bit here?

>Rob Andrews