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   RE: [xml-dev] XML database enviroment using PostgreSQL

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Picking a term is always difficult because it often comes down to semantics
(even the term "semantic" has different semantic value in different
contexts).  Last December, Elliotte provided a brief definition of
"narrative" and "record-like" which made a lot of sense and proved helpful
in coordinating data-sharing with our sister company: 

"All XML documents are documents. All XML documents contain data. I prefer
to talk about 
"narrative" documents and "record-like" documents. In narrative documents
order generally matters a great deal and mixed content is common. In record
like documents order is of limited importance and mixed content is rare."

The company I work for publishes pharmaceutical reference products, both
print and electronic.  Our sister company produces database applications for
pharmacies.  Understanding the differences between the types of content
structures we deal with helped define the problem space of integrating the
two data sets and develop a solution.

I suppose we could apply the terms "publishing-oriented" and
"database-oriented", but again, people's view of what a database is may
conflict as well.
Douglas Rudder     drudder@drugfacts.com
"If we've learned anything from the first 5 years of XML, 
it's that it can't succeed as a "big ball of mud" that 
pollutes document applications with data-specific concepts 
or data applications with document-specific concepts."
  -- Mike Champion

-----Original Message-----
From: Chiusano Joseph [mailto:chiusano_joseph@bah.com]
Sent: Monday, August 18, 2003 8:25 AM
To: Elliotte Rusty Harold
Cc: Doug Rudder; xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] XML database enviroment using PostgreSQL

Sure - I think a concrete example would better illustrate my point.
Several years ago I worked on the prototype of a US Environmental
Protection Agency initative called "Central Data Exchange (CDX[1])". CDX
is the point of entry (a central hub) for environmental data submissions
to EPA from entities such as governemnt agencies, states, localities,
tribes, and laboratories. The submissions would be along the lines of
water testing results, factory emmissions, etc. In this context,one may
classify this XML information as "data-oriented"/"exchange-oriented",
rather than "document-oriented"/"record-oriented". 

However, because of various regulations, EPA was required to archive the
submissions not only as they were received - but in every stage of their
life cycle (i.e. whatever processing was applied to the data, such as
conversion from XML to flat-file format). These archives - a.k.a
"records" - were required to be retained for certain number of years (I
*believe* 25 years), for multiple reasons among which was to allow them
to be used as evidence in litigation if necessary.

So in summary, this "data-oriented"/"exchange-oriented" XML was also
considered to be "record-oriented".

Kind Regards,
Joe Chiusano
Booz | Allen | Hamilton

[1] http://www.epa.gov/cdx/

Elliotte Rusty Harold wrote:
> At 3:28 PM -0400 8/14/03, Chiusano Joseph wrote:
> >Thinking more about the term "record-like" for what is commonly called
> >"data-oriented" XML: One may run into some disagreement with the notion
> >that "document-oriented" (or narrative) XML does not involve records (I
> >am intentionally speaking very generally here). For example, given the
> >recent Sarbanes-Oxley Act here in the U.S., every "type" of XML is
> >expected to be record-oriented.
> >
> Could you elaborate on that point? That doesn't seem at all
> self-evident to me. I'm not sure what you mean.
> --
>    Elliotte Rusty Harold
>    elharo@metalab.unc.edu
>    Processing XML with Java (Addison-Wesley, 2002)
>    http://www.cafeconleche.org/books/xmljava
>    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN%3D0201771861/cafeaulaitA
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