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RE: [xml-dev] XPath and a continuous, uniform information space

````````````  John Cowan

The Ftan paper says specifically in the FtanML data model section that a FtanML element is just its name and its attributes (the content value is an attribute named by the empty string).  It's a pure, if compound, value, like a mathematical ordered pair or a complex number, and has no notion of being embedded in a specific context, hence no parent.  This means that it's a no-op to make a copy of a Ftan element, just as it's a no-op to make a copy of 32+45i.




Yes this is the data model to which I was referring.  Of all the FtanML this was the most thought provoking to me.

The syntax itself I am on the fence about, but the concept of unchaining the node model from the document has some very compelling features.

By discarding the concept of node identify you then can discard concept of document order, document identity.  Along the way you have to give up

ancestry (and I think the sibling axis).   But if you do the advantages are compelling.

No longer is the node tied to a resource.  While its true XML has anonymous nodes (say explicit constructors in XQuery) ... if ALL the nodes are like this,

then to my thinking it relieves many barriers to a distributed data model.    Data can come from anywhere as first-class citizenry.

You dont have to drag along with it any concept of its roots  or even if it *had* roots ... The performance aspects are interseting, not only in

processors for internal data but in the sense of not having to restrict nodes to belonging to documents they could be parts of graphs,

shared data, independent data, free data in a nearly literal metaphor.

I havent fully brought this metaphor to ground in my mind yet but there seems something very enabling about it.   You dont have to think of Data in Documents or any kind of container anymore ... and the processors dont have to struggle to maintain that model representation.






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