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functional databases noodling ...

every year at XML Prague, Michael Kay either via his talks or
questions makes a single comment that spawns a few hundred hours of
research on my part ... this year was his minor mention of 'functional
databases' ... which sent me scrambling.

a few thoughts immediately came to mind:

     * how valid is it to say 'xquery is a functional
programming/query language' ? I think 3.0 makes this statement true

it then a few more followed:

     * is it possible that we could rename xml databases (who have
xquery) into 'functional database' especially if they employ XQuery

     * what other characteristics make a functional databases (as in
immutable functional data structures) and what context could xml
technologies be applicable

     * what comprises a functional data structure and does xml model them well ?

     *  just as there is an impedance mismatch between OO and
relational databases are we creating new impedance mismatches by not
using functional data structures ?

     * does anyone on the list has experience with pure functional
databases in existence

So as you can see not entirely well formed thoughts and I still need
to do quite a bit more research to come up to speed with previous work
in this domain but interesting ... thank you Dr. Kay.

Jim Fuller

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