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RE: [xml-dev] XML not ideal for Big Data

So many points were made arguing for XML being OK for "big data," many of
them sensible to me.  Just to be clear: I use XML databases day in and day
out, I work with large XML files and it's all just dandy.  I don't think
size is an issue, mostly.

However I think we need to recognize that there is data for which XML was
not designed and is ill-suited.  Binary, numeric data, such as video, images
and audio, to say nothing of scientific data (years of detector readings in
a neutrino decay experiment) is just not the sweet spot for XML.  I searched
for "MP3 to XML converter", but couldn't find anything.  I have to admit I
was surprised: the net is so big that I thought it had finally reached the
stage where enough monkeys typing will have produced absolutely everything.
Maybe my search skills just weren't up to the task.

Now it's hard to tell if his problem fell in the domain for which XML is not
well-suited.  I don't know what the details of the original writer's project
were, but I would tend to want to take him at his word that XML was not the
right choice for his data.  It's certainly possible: there is such a domain.
And genomics data sounds to me pretty unlike documents: it probably wouldn't
pass the smell test that was discussed earlier. XML is not for everything.

As an aside, XML is also not always the right choice for every*one*, either,
regardless of the problem domain.  Even if it might have been possible for
someone else to achieve success with a genomics dataset using XML rather
than CSV and perl or whatever he used, I think his point is still valid.  He
doesn't want to spend time learning XML technologies: he just want to get
the project done.  So if learning XML (document format, query language,
database technology, etc) was too hard and he managed to find success some
other way, I don't think that's any reason to disparage him.  He found a
tool that suited his purposes and the context in which he was working.

Last point: the only reason people write articles like his is that XML was
touted as the everything/everywhere solution for so long. For me it's still
about (human-readable) documents and data interchange, primarily.  I'm
curious whether there is agreement on that, or do folks see other broad
areas where XML is beneficial?


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Simon St.Laurent [mailto:simonstl@simonstl.com] 
> Sent: Thursday, September 03, 2009 11:54 AM
> To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
> Subject: [xml-dev] XML not ideal for Big Data
> Perhaps there were better ways to have made XML work with his 
> problems... but I think on the whole he's right.
> http://dataspora.com/blog/xml-and-big-data/
> --
> Simon St.Laurent
> http://simonstl.com/
> ____________________________

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