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   Re: [xml-dev] Re: XML and the Relational Model -- CMM & ISO 9000 - FINAL

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Ah, the lack of wit....

In college, I wrote an application in two different languages, side by 
side. Just for kicks one weekend because I was bored. And I got much the 
same response from various professors and graduate students. Attempts to 
Ridicule. Attempts to Humiliate. For some reason that escapes me a 
significant population apparently does not wish to see side by side, apples 
to apples comparison results for any software any application any place any 
time no matter what the reason.

Early in my professional career this affected me significantly, and so I 
destroyed the cobol form of the application, and gave the fortran form to 
friends in the business school, one of whom was the son of a banker who had 
taken a CS class with me, and had observed the prof ridiculing me day after 
day in class. The application performed account reconciliation for your 
standard checking account, given a simple input file, and produced a 
straightforward checking account statement. The major flaw in the fortran 
form of the application was that it placed the math operators to the right 
of the amounts instead of to the left.

The complaint by the professors and graduate students in the Computer 
Science department of the Engineering College of the conservative southern 
USA university was that I had written a business application in a 
scientific language. Gasp. Horror of horrors.

The real problem was that the fortran app was much smaller, much more 
elegant and much more effective by every measure in dealing with the 
financial account problem or application task, than COBOL was.... and this 
was absolutely not acceptable to the status-quo-quorum crowd. Years later a 
worried bank association dude contacted me about possible copyrights to the 
source code that, apparently, thousands of banks had picked up (for free, 
back in 1980's) .... I made my only request to him that my name be 
eradicated from any association with the application. Some scars heal 
slowly, I guess.

If your bank statement shows the math symbols to the right of the amounts, 
chances are your bank is running my code, or something built on top of, or 
with my code.

Well, so, to this day I avoid getting published, generally keep my head 
down, and seldom speak up at conferences, or even in newsgroups like this 
one, but still often donating code to the public in quiet, anonymous, 
means,  precisely because of the kind of post I am responding to. I do 
enjoy quiet one on one conversations with industry thinkers and doers and 
other leaders, and will continue to do so, contributing in my own quiet 
way. A way that avoids celebrity ... it being my opinion that for the 
person involved the difference between being famous and being infamous is 

Oh Well.

To respond, I see XML as:
- a massive security hole (so does Msoft, check it out, 
- a decent markup language
- an acceptable file exchange or data exchange format (but then, most 
anything can be decent at this if all parties to the data source concur).
- a data group or document data form (not even a full implementation of the 
Heirarchical Model).

I do not see XML as
- a database tool
- a database
- a data set
- a programming language
- a best practice
- a provable technology solution set

Now, since the ridiculers and humilators (rotten fruit throwers) in the 
crowd have surfaced, and have obviously not bothered to read prior posts 
where they would have noticed that I had already agreed with most, or all, 
of the content of their most recent post (below), I take that as my cue to 
bid you all __Adieu__

I have accomplished what I set out to do here - to raise the bar a bit - to 
introduce the presence of academic excellence in terms of docs and research 
papers and other professional reading references - and to offer a method by 
which the easiest and simplest and most useful proofs (business case 
proofs, side by side comparisons of identical applications) could be 
readily accomplished.

What this community chooses to do with these notions, is up to the 
community at large (ad hoc), not up to me (ad persona).

Happy Programming!

........ exiting stage left like any good player in any Shakesperian work.....

Bye Ya'll !!!

At 05:04 PM 8/26/2003 -0500, Bob Foster wrote:
>Ah, the attack of the relational reactionaries!
>This sort of thing has been going around the comp.text.xml newsgroup for
>months. I've been wondering how long it would take to get here.
>The nature of the attack (or troll) is to set up a straw man and knock it
>down, then try to extend that "logic" to question the need for XML anywhere,
>anytime. Here is the straw man in the current thread:
> > Folks who have said that all the benefits
> > of RM can be had in XML...Folks who have
> > also said that XML is a "better" technology for large data stores than RM
>Of course, any "folks" who said such things would be talking nonsense.
>Relational database is a mature technology with mature, trustworthy
>suppliers. Relational database has sound theoretical underpinnings, a decent
>query language and three decades of performance-tuning experience, but just
>as important it has solid implementations that reliably deal with practical
>issues like data model evolution, concurrent transaction processing and
>backup/recovery. In other words, the management part of database management.
>XML is a way to represent structured information as text. It has one
>established transform language and a couple more in design. There is no
>management component. Comparing it to relational database is like comparing
>a glider to an airline.
>On the other hand, the notion that XML needs to be justified by some kind of
>"proof" is just ludicrous. Technologies are justified by utility.
>Thank heaven relational database vendors have more common sense than
>relational zealots. The former know that relational database is not
>threatened by XML, any more than it was threatened by "object database" in
>the '80's. At most, it is another import/export format and a
>performance/tuning issue.
>Bob Foster
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