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RE: [xml-dev] SQL instead of XQuery [offtopic]

One might argue that syntax based systems, even as well-thought through as
SQL, are simply not the right interface for 'non-programmers'; hence the
success of correct-by-construction QBE systems and forms that imitate paper

In design of any interface, the focus is on the producer if one wants ease
and on the consumer if one wants efficiency.   Syntax-based systems tend to
favor the consumer, the computer in this case.  If one is building for the
producer and the producer is a non-programmer (for some n of training), one
hardly favors a syntax-based design.

One of the subtle reasons real-time 3D is gaining in popularity is the
enormous organizational power of 'proximity' in human thought.  It was the
same for 2D forms or any so-called 'document' metaphor.  I think it a huge
conceptual mistake to make document computing the centerpiece of database
design although it is a big win for the GUI.


From: Ken North [mailto:kennorth@sbcglobal.net] 
>> I'm very wondered, that industry have not been thinking about
>> non-programmers: i meet only one mention of this topic - in
>> publication of 1974: E.F. Codd and C.J. Date, "Interactive
>> Support for Nonprogrammers: The Relational and Network Approaches".
>> They wrote (in 1974 !), that role of "random" users was
>> increasing greatly, and really these users soon would present
>> majority,

Computer scientists were addressing the question of information retrieval
non-programmers long before 1974. In the 1960s, 'generalized' was the
for systems intended for non-programming users.

IBM did a field test of GIS (Generalized Information System) in Venezuela in
1966. The query language was intended for non-programming users. That was
true of GIM (Generalized Information Management), developed by Dick Pick and
Nelson in 1965.

The seminal paper on using set theory for operating on data without having
know its structure was written by David L. Childs in 1968. Codd cited it in
1970 paper that introduced the relational model.


Now after 40 more years of development, we have SQL, XPath, XQuery and
not exactly query technology for the man on the street.


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