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

Just putting my 2 in:

Repeat after me: There. Are. No. Silver. Bullets.

XML is a tool, nothing more.  A relational database is a tool, 
nothing more.  Fortran is a tool, Python is a tool, Perl is a tool, 
blah, blah, blah.  None of these will solve world hunger, nuclear 
proliferation, climate change, or the cost of car insurance.

Those of us who have been in the data management industry for several 
decades certainly understand this, as do those of us (well, "you") 
who have been in product development for many years.  But the 
software biz seems to be one of those where every generation insists 
on its right to make the same mistakes we made 40 years ago instead 
of learning from our experimentation and making all new mistakes.

We need to find ways of characterizing appropriate uses of various 
tools.  I personally find XML to be an outstanding way of 
representing documents intended to be read by humans (e.g., fiction, 
non-fiction, technical, standards, etc.), but not always a good way 
of representing data intended to be processed by computers.  It's a 
pretty decent interchange format for data -- much better than, say, 
comma-separated value lists.  And some of the XML data models 
currently in use (I especially like XDM) are excellent for certain 
kinds of data processing...but, I'd argue, not all.  Relational 
databases aren't going away, and in fact their use continues to 
grow.  Flat files will be with us until the end of the universe, no 
doubt.  I think XML databases are here for the long term, too.

So, what is the right way to represent data/information?

It depends.  On what is going to be done with it.  On the toolset 
available to the user (including skills).  On various factors.

Am I being all too obvious?

At 9/3/2009 09:53 AM, Simon St.Laurent wrote:
>Perhaps there were better ways to have made XML work with his 
>problems... but I think on the whole he's right.
>Simon St.Laurent
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Jim Melton --- Editor of ISO/IEC 9075-* (SQL)     Phone: +1.801.942.0144
   Chair, W3C XML Query WG; XQX (etc.) editor       Fax : +1.801.942.3345
Oracle Corporation        Oracle Email: jim dot melton at oracle dot com
1930 Viscounti Drive      Standards email: jim dot melton at acm dot org
Sandy, UT 84093-1063 USA          Personal email: jim at melton dot name
=  Facts are facts.   But any opinions expressed are the opinions      =
=  only of myself and may or may not reflect the opinions of anybody   =
=  else with whom I may or may not have discussed the issues at hand.  =

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