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> 1. How you structure your information in XML has a tremendous impact
> on the processing of the information.
> 2. Hierarchy makes processing information hard! There exists a
> relationship between hierarchy of information and the complexity of
> code to process the information. The relationship is roughly: the
> greater the hierarchy, the greater the complexity of code to process
> the information (Some hierarchy is good, of course. But the amount
> of hierarchy that is good is probably much less than one might
> imagine, certainly less than I thought, as described above.)
> 3. Flat data is good data! Flatten out the hierarchy of your data.
> It makes the information flexible and easier to process.
> 4. Order hurts! Requiring a strict order of the information makes for
> a brittle design. It is only when I allowed the lots and pickers to
> occur in any order that the flexibility and simplicity kicked in.
I think you have just rediscovered the usefulness of
the relational model and normalization. There's a reason
why RDBMS took over from hierarchical databases for this
kind of information and processing. (This is not to say
that there aren't linear/hierarchical documents that fit
much better into an XML world than an RDBMS world.)
Kian-Tat Lim, email@example.com, UTF-7: +Z5de+pBU-