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> Will the addition of XML data types to relational databases help this
> problem, at least for data-centric schemas? It's a bit of an force-fit,
> but it seems that mixed content could be mapped to and accessed from an
> XML column when the meaning of that content is a single word, even an
> annotated one.
> This solution won't work for data binding until programming languages
> can handle XML data as a first-order type.
I don't have a crystal ball on this. If a field already contains just a
single word or name or whatever, it is probably simpler just to make
another field containing the alternate version. So the issue arises more
when storing free text.
And even for free text, there has been no point storing annotations in DBMS
when renderers could not display them. Now that XML allows ready
transmission of ruby with text (i.e. mied content) and HTML renderers with
Ruby are more common, the ball goes to the DBMS court to figure out how to
store the annotations. And then comes the issue of how to support ruby
entry in forms...
I guess you could summarize the problem by saying that, for good
internationalization, free text is rich text. It is not so much that
DBMS and ancilliary systems need to support mixed content or XML,
but rather that they need to support rich, freely annotatable text.
Suporting XML and mixed content is a solution rather than a use case, IYSWIM.