An example of database query result in XML

Marcus Carr mrc at
Tue Mar 24 22:14:35 GMT 1998

Don Park wrote:

> XML is very flexible and it is easy to convert practically any data into XML
> without significant loss of information.

The trick I think, is to convert information taken for granted by humans into
something more formal. Formatting such as indents need to be interpreted as
nested objects. Humans don't have a problem with this because they primarily
digest the information linearly - finding the ends of objects programatically
isn't always as easy. I think the conversion to XML is much more likely to result
in lost information than the conversion out.

> But because XML is so powerful,
> the problem of converting XML to other data formats is much greater than
> before and is bound to cause information loss.

If your XML is adequately designed, it should contain all of the information -
getting it out with something like OmniMark is trivial. It might be difficult to
render neatly in your output, but that's not an XML issue.

> So I guess I am leading
> toward using XML more as a data communication format and less as a data
> storage format.

I don't see that being any more true for XML than it has ever been for SGML.

> Just whining cuz I am not going to the XML Conference,

By the sounds of it, we're the minority group...


Marcus Carr                  email:  mrc at
Allette Systems (Australia)  email:  info at
Level 10, 91 York Street     www:
Sydney 2000 NSW Australia    phone:  +61 2 9262 4777
                             fax:    +61 2 9262 4774

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