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Re: [xml-dev] Converting a variety of data formats, containingvarious kinds of data into a common intermediate form

On 4 October 2016 at 16:53, Costello, Roger L. <costello@mitre.org> wrote:
> Hi Folks,
> Scenario: You are tasked to build a system that will receive data from a
> variety of sources. The data arrives in different formats (e.g., CSV,
> binary, tab-delimited, JSON, XML). The data sources provide different kinds
> of data (e.g., one source provides book data, another source provides
> weather data, another source provides gardening data). The data will be
> converted to a common intermediary form and then from the intermediary form,
> placed into a data store.
> Recently I heard this statement:
>                 Converting data that is in various formats and contains
> various kinds
>                of data, into a common intermediate form is hard
> (computationally
>                expensive). RDF is the only data model the enables such
> conversions
>                to be done in a way that is computationally tractable.
> Therefore, we
>                must use RDF. And, as a corollary, we must use a triple store
> to store
>                the RDF data.
> Do you agree with that statement?


> If you do, can you provide evidence that
> RDF is the only data model that supports such conversions in a
> computationally tractable manner?

> If you do not agree with that statement, can you provide evidence on why the
> statement is false?

It's self evidently false so by definition doesn't need more evidence:-)

But more to the point the problem as stated isn't sufficiently well
defined to have a meaningful answer.
Perhaps in some specific context RDF is the only viable way but in
general clearly that can't be the case.

Also converting between binary/csv/tab/xml/json is only as hard as you make it
for example conversion from binary to xml you can base64 encode the
binary and wrap it in <x>...</x>
and you have well formed XML which conversion can be done in a couple
of lines of script.
If your binary file is an image that's probably reasonable, if the
binary file is .doc and you wanted something more with the structure
of .docx then it is less so.

So in the generality in which you pose the question I doubt there is
anything meaningful you could say about the difficulty of converting
to a common format, or of a suitable format for that common storage

> /Roger


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