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RE: [xml-dev] Caught napping!


sorry to throw the discussion back a bit,

Re: evolving dbs in XML, Len said:
> It isn't difficult.  

Ok, maybe to advanced XML programmers (of which I am
not one) it is easy.

So the question of 'easiness' is relative to:

(1) the skills of the person/people doing the 'job';
(2) the size of the benefits to be gained in
proportion to the effort required; and
(3) whether there are any other alternative ways.

I guess my focus is more on points (2) & (3) which
combine to answer the question: "Should we be doing
this particular job at all?" rather than just the
technical problems "Can we do it at all?".

Clearly, the focus of most people on the list is the
question of addressing the technical problems, whether
they think that we are going in the right direction or

This may be fair enough (maybe we don't know if we can
"get there" until we've actually "got there"?). And I
don't who thinks we're "going in the right direction
or not" - and that's not debate I'm askign to start -
but the focus here is generally on the "how can we
..." rather than the "should we ...".

As to de-basing:
> To answer your question, de-basing: I'm too old to
> take up the cause of purity again and found it too
> boring the last time around.

I wasn't around 'last time' to follow this debate (I
guess I can look it up), so I wouldn't ask to start
that debate again either, except to say that I am
doing my own work for purely selfish reasons - I hope
to profit by it one way or another - though I hope
that others might benefit also.


 --- "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <clbullar@ingr.com>
wrote: > It isn't difficult.  We table-drive our GUIs
> the most part and any field they are adding is 
> for an explicit control they add as well.  So 
> it isn't hard to maintain.  The dilemma is that they
> can 
> add a field for the same purpose as a field 
> we provide in an upgrade, and now there is an 
> overlap.    XML is nothing moreorless 
> than an additional toolbag.  A native XML DB is 
> something else, but we don't use one of those 
> today so not on the radar here.  Mainly, relational 
> dbs have a well-established practice, optimized 
> indexes, and so on.  XMLasDB doesn't bring much to
> the
> party that we can't do already and do quite 
> efficiently with COTS tools.  It does have
> advantages 
> when the content is purely a document but that 
> gets into yet another argument for which there 
> is a considerable amount of middle ground, so 
> only resolvable in the extremes.  Most of us don't 
> live on edge cases.
> To answer your question, de-basing: I'm too old to
> take 
> up the cause of purity again and found it too boring
> the last time around.  To some, HTML is de-based. 
> To others, it is a practical approach to an 
> immediate problem.  
> "I want candy".  "OK," Mom says, "But it rots your
> teeth 
> and will make you fat."
> How useful the SemWeb is will be determined by 
> how much money people are willing to spend building 
> metadata for others to profit from.  But there is
> nothing 
> new about ontologies, expert systems (CWM), or any
> of that. 
> It's yet another database.  There are as Andrew
> points 
> out, problems of privacy, but this problem is there 
> all the time for every db built.   The question is, 
> who gets to see the data?  Industry, government,
> individuals, 
> corporations already collect and exchange enormous 
> amounts of personal information.  Some will say, 
> "the danger is they reason over it and draw
> conclusions 
> that may be false."  That is a problem.  The bigger 
> problem is that they do that and the person(s) about
> whom conclusions are drawn are unaware of it, have 
> few recourses to refute that which they don't see,
> and 
> for them, the world appears to move by magic, fate 
> or conspiracy when in fact, it is just amplified
> error. 
> So the SemWeb becomes a comedy if you feel, and a
> tragedy 
> if you think (to borrow from the Bard).  I have an
> image 
> in mind of two rooms at a local mall, one for
> aerobics 
> and one for square dancers, and on a certain night, 
> the instructors for each go to the wrong rooms.
> len
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Peter J. Gale
> [mailto:thesemanticweb@yahoo.co.uk]
> > ... Mainly, we try to determine where they 
> > add the extensions and that is a little hairy.
> > In a nutshell, we evolve relational dbs everyday 
> > with every release.
> But that doesn't sound easy, and the problems of
> inter-relating different schema will get more and
> more
> difficult with each release, no?
> At what point will the problems become too complex
> for
> us to deal with?
> > The Internet Society is sort of like 
> > Santa's workshop:  just another fanciful reason 
> > for parents to buy new toys and fool the kids.
> The internet is something potentially very useful in
> our everyday lives, especially if the Semantic Web
> ever gets up and running. There will always be room
> for people to sells toys (we all like some light
> amusement) but it also has a serious side also - a
> potential to increase shared knowledge &
> understanding.
> As developers, do we not need to consider it a
> responsibility to give something genuinely of
> long-term benefit also, rather than just debase the
> medium we profit from? 

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