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   Re: [xml-dev] XML and the Relational Model (was Re: [xml-dev] A standar

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--- Jonathan Robie <jonathan.robie@datadirect.com>

> >Reconciliation?  You mean so that RM is the same as
> a Tree Model, and vice 
> >versa? I suppose a translation or interpretive
> method can be done, but 
> >that does not make RM native to the Tree Model, or
> vice versa.
> Of course not. Every model is a universe unto
> itself. Computer Science 
> allows more than one model. Mappings among models
> are useful.

Yup. And new models can come along that transcend the
competing models into special cases of a more abstract
model.  I guess the canonical example would be the
wave vs particle models of light; to the best of my
very limited understanding, they can be reconciled as
special cases of a quantum electrodynamical
thingamabob.  My original point was that people are
actively looking for tree-relational thingamabobs that
would do likewise for the RM and XML.

In the meantime, people gotta do what they gotta do to
get the job done, I guess. I'd be very surprised to
find a truly successful pure relational approach to
the kind of terrabyte-scale, evolving document
scenario that started this thread.  An ad-hoc
combination of the salient ideas from the relational
approach (e.g. normalization, using value-based joins
rather than hard-coded pointers or entity references
to compose document components), the XML approach
(e.g. hierarchical containment as an efficient way to
bundle tightly related bits of information), and
practical DBMS engineering techniques (e.g. indexes,
transaction processing, database distribution and
replication) seems like the most sensible approach to
real-world problems.

Totally Off-Topic: if Marie Curie had "waited to do
the math" [as someone in one of these threads
suggested] she might well have avoided an early death
from cancer, but she might well have avoided the
immortality she achieved by following her vision. 
Comparison's with Rosalind Franklin seem apt -- she
did wait for the hard data rather than playing with
ball and stick models, and died young anyway; it was
decades before her contributions were recognized.  Not
too many of us would last long on the payroll after
assuring the Pointy Haired Boss that although it takes
hours to do each 100-way join required to perform a
transaction that was specified to be done in seconds,
he/she should take comfort from the database
application's firm grounding in predicate logic and
set theory :-)


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