Serializations and data structures (was Re: Topic MapsonSQL)

len bullard cbullard at
Wed Dec 9 23:19:05 GMT 1998

David Brownell wrote:
> Lars Marius Garshol wrote:
> >
> > As the argument stands it looks like checkmate to me.
> Because in fact the syntax and the data model are isomorphic
> in any good design.
> The disagreements come (IMHO) when the system isn't quite so neat
> as we'd like to see, so that the data model or the syntax have
> "extra" information.  Which is the truth?  This is a pragmatic
> question in my book.  I tend to believe that specs get out of
> sync with reality in any successful system, so I've got a bias
> towards believing the actual data, rather than a version of its
> spec which is probably out of date ... :-)

I note that when creating an application of any kind, it is not 
the design, the schema, or the spec that make bugs *emerge*:  
it is the real world data.  Witness the way a DTD grows like 
topsy.  The system is never that neat because the requirements 
aren't.  Good thing too.  OTW, everything would have been built in the
century and we would all be steam engine repairmen.

I contend that topic maps, data types, and other ideas currently 
circulating happen because we need them. Sort of a Duh, but again, 
it points to the need to get requirements prior to design.  I spent 
the day creating a DTD for a language in which the original grammar 
has very explicitly defined datatypes.  I stuck CDATA everywhere 
and am not very about that.  

Of the various datatype proposals out there:

1.  Which is most legitimate to apply today?
2.  Which is likely to survive into XML1.>0?

I can use a stopgap if it has credibility.  OTW, I put 
these in comments.


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