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Yes, once one has a good idea of what needs proving.
Otherwise, like proving that a bumblebee can't fly,
one is modeling from axioms, and the bee just goes
about its business doing what it will. Abduct, induct,
Markup scales where it needs to first, in the applications
which its inventors had in mind. Note, DTDs were added
later. Formalization was done later. This is historical
even if not necessary. In short, don't wait on proofs
nor ignore them when available. Just be sure of what is
being proved and that it is relevant to the task.
To the point: is a wall-to-wall XML database the right
solution for any problem? No. Can we define in advance
all of the problems it is or is not applicable to? Not
all. I agree with you 100% on that.
As noted elsewhere, when looking for the proofs, it is
not XML that needs to be compared, but the data models.
As others have noted, there is lots of work being done
on these. Meanwhile, hybrids rule the niche today.
I do note that the environment for which XML, (not markup)
was designed or adopted from SGML, is one of decentralized
and loosely coupled sources, not one where normalization
is the norm. Will that create update problems? You bet.
Like 404, it is a cost of using the system. The only
proof 404 needed was 50 years of trying to get around
it. Progress in fielding very large distributed hypermedia
systems was made only when that constraint was relaxed.
The way around the update problems so far is hybridization
and tightening the coupling. The ideal of full decoupling
is not just risky, it is unworkable to date.
You're right about Curie. One shouldn't bet the farm
for a prize in husbandry, or die of the experiment,
but there would be no Wright Brothers without Lilienthal.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
Awww, now, gee whiz..... doing a math proof can be as exciting and
exhilarating as any other form of discovery, and doing so first can save
one many stubbed toes, later.
After all, Codd's proofs led the way, as did Knuth's, and were not derived
from existing advanced art but from theory and science. While it probably
goes both ways, some proofs coming from experience and others derived
purely from theory. saying that waiting on proofs makes me a cave man who
is frightened of tomorrow is just personal.
Which is something I will not respond to, :), other than to say that if
Curie had done the math, used the full scientific method, waited for
results and included advancements from other scientists, maybe she would
not have died of radiation poisoning.