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   RE: [xml-dev] (data) medium is the message

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Peter.Hunsberger@stjude.org (Hunsberger, Peter) writes:
>> [Jeff Lowery]
>> Is there a universal mapping language that can be used across 
>> all data representations (a.k.a. mediums)? At the risk of 
>> sounding like a thrall of certain fascists, I really do think 
>> that any such universal mapping language will, at it's heart, 
>> be formulated on relational algebra.  That's not to say that 
>> all models must conform to integrity constraints under all 
>> operations; what it does say is that those potential 
>> integrity violations are understood and handled correctly 
>> when data is moved from one representation to the next 
>> through the defined mapping operations.
>Hmm, I might even grant integrity constraint conformation (99.99% or
>the time).  What I wouldn't necessarily expect is normalizations that
>conforms to what experts in the current relational world might expect:
>I'm starting to believe that data normalization and metadata
>normalization are orthogonal to each other. 

I think I'm with Peter on this one as far as normalization.  

At the same time, though, I think there's a huge difference between the
expectations of relational databases - which really demand a schema
upfront before you're allowed to work with data - and XML, which has no
such requirements.  No rules, no violation - no harm, no foul.

One of these days I'd like to figure out if the math underlying RELAX NG
and the math underlying relations can be made compatible.  That seems
like a plausible path forward toward an easily processable and vaguely
cross-media world, but I still don't think it'll cover all the

Simon St.Laurent
Ring around the content, a pocket full of brackets
Errors, errors, all fall down!
http://simonstl.com -- http://monasticxml.org


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