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RE: Data storage, data exchange, data manipulation

> > I don't think a node-labeled tree (the XML model is a tree, more
> > restricted than a graph) structure can model all kind of data
> > easily and efficiently.
> There is a wealth of discussion on representing graphs in XML.
> include ID/IDREF, XLink/XPointer, RDF, TM etc, etc. The easy and
> part depends on the implementation.

Right, I think calling XML a tree is oversimplification.  The web is a
graph.  XML is the web made just a bit less sloppy, but we still have
key/keyref and XLink, XPointer, RDF -- all that stuff John mentions.
Take the graph that is the web and make it more machine-readable.  Take
all of the services and data in silos at the edges of the web and expose
it as XML documents (as appropriate of course).  Now you have one big
huge honkin' graph.  What is more fun that that?  I agree that
implementation is hard; but that's why we get paid.

> > can exchange data with a human being are serial, and I feel that
> > hierarchised text or speeches are the highest form of structured,
> > serialized data that we can understand.
> actually humans are not limited to serial data formats, e.g. images
> voice which is interpreted by humans in a nonlinear, non serial

Yeah, depends on what you mean by "understand".  There is the old rule
of thumb that people can't keep a list of more than 7 things in mind at
a time, yet we routinely have databases with millions of rows, and lists
on this mailing list can be as large as 80 greek words at a time.