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   RE: [xml-dev] Xml file sizes

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Yes, as Nathan pointed out there are many reasons why *not* to use XML but let me give you a few reasons why we use XML.  Judging by your email address and a quick trip to Google you may be interested in some of the things that we're doing.
At the US Department of Education we're using XML extensively to transmit data between our trading partners.  In my area, Federal Student Aid, this is every higher education school in the US as well as lenders, guaranty agencies and state and federal agencies.  The rest of the Department of Education is using XML to transmit data between state agencies for educational grants and many other programs.  Schools are also using XML to transmit data among themselves and their own trading partners too.  These standards have been created through the Postsecondary Education Standards Council (http://www.pesc.org).
We standardized on XML and our own definitions for about 1,000 elements (http://fsaxmlregistry.ed.gov) so we could get consistency throughout the entire education community.  Yes, the XML files are larger (sometimes *much* larger) than the corresponding flat file.  But the benefit of having the same definition of an element used across financial aid, admissions and registrars, housing, and many other areas of the campus as well as through the Pre-K to 12th grade area far outweighs the additional processing power necessary to parse and create the XML. 
So really, the benefits to the business processes far outweighed the problems created for the technical people.
Tim Bornholtz
US Department of Education
Office of Federal Student Aid
-----Original Message-----
From: Byarlay, Wayne A. [mailto:wab@purdue.edu]
Sent: Monday, November 21, 2005 2:31 PM
To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: [xml-dev] Xml file sizes

Hello all.

Well, an xml file has finally shown up on my doorstep. Before last week, I only had a vague idea of what XML was; now I've come to understand that it's a method for basically storing data. However, something is bothering me. So, let me play devil's advocate here.
If XML uses tags such as <blablabla>This is my data</blablabla>, is that not a lot of extra bytes to simply declare the end of a field?
And to take it a step further: if I have several records, but the fields are always sequential, such as:
<my record>
    <field1>Bubba Smith</field1>
    <field2>123 Elm Street</field2>
</my record>
<my 2nd record>
    <field1>Sally Ryder</field1>
    <field2>123 Elm Street</field2>
</my 2nd record>
...Wow, to me, that just seems like many redundant bits of data. So, how is XML better than, say, a file where the field headers (and footers) are smaller?
Sorry if this message is a waste of your time, but I am really questioning the practicality of XML. maybe certain platforms or languages process it faster?


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