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Michael Kay wrote:
>>Sorry, that is simply not correct.
>>Underlying XML is a data model. That data model is set forth at:
>How interesting. But go up a page, and you find:
>"This page collects some thoughts on XML and links to some software. It
>dates from 1997 and is not currently maintained."
>Not exactly a normative reference.
It appears that Jeni and I have reached at least an understanding that
XML syntax can be considered "as though" it was based upon a tree model.
I concede that I should have read the cited page more carefully but the
data model of XML is so obviously a tree that I did not. Carelessness on
my part but I was surprised that anyone would claim that XML did not
have an underlying data model. The other models cited by Jeni (with the
exception of SAX with is an event model) are merely ways of describing
relationships based upon an underlying tree model.
I concede that XML has no normative data model but as Sam Hunting
pointed out yesterday, XML parsers process an XML document from a single
root and as a single tree. To me if it walks like a duck, talks like a
duck and has all the limitations of a duck, I have a strong suspicion
that it is a duck.
Trees are incredibly useful views of data as Jeni pointed out yesterday
and I do not dispute that statement. It is the non-existent data model
requirement that XML syntax (in Jeni's use of the term) be limited to a
single tree (with or without overlapping, which is only one of the
problems with XML syntax) that I find troubling.
As the complexity of data to which XML is applied increases, so will the
problems caused by the assumptions (if you don't like the term data
model) that underlie XML. Jeni has proposed one solution to address more
complex data requirements and I have proposed another. I think the
markup community as a whole will be served by a discussion of the strong
and weak points of XML. But I would open that discussion up to include
fundamental assumptions of XML, as XML, and not advocate creating
research languages other than for use in investigating where XML went
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Director of Research and Development
Society of Biblical Literature