Serializations and data structures (was Re: Topic Maps onSQL)

david at david at
Wed Nov 25 18:35:14 GMT 1998

Lars Marius Garshol writes:

 > As the argument stands it looks like checkmate to me. Why not turn
 > the issue around slightly: what would be difficult to do without
 > the data model? I can think of one thing: interpreting parts of
 > XPointer unambiguously (the string and span stuff, for example) as
 > it and XML stand today is near-impossible. A data model would
 > hopefully resolve this.

Fortunately, the XML community already agrees on at least 75% of what
should be in an XML data model (partly driven by past SGML
experience), so the different standards are not so far out of line as
they might be; nevertheless, I assert that the choice is not between
XML syntax or an XML data model, but between an implicit or explicit
XML data model.

Syntax is worthless without a data model; a data model is unusable
without syntax.  If you leave either one unspecified, people will
start inventing their own versions (sometimes with good results, and
sometimes with bad).

Anyway, guys and girls, everyone in every discipline in Western
Civilization has already hashed out this argument in every possible
guise over more than two millennia (Plato vs. Aristotle, soul/spirit
vs. body, transcendentalist vs. materialist, Tennyson vs. Browning,
abstract vs. representational art, classical acting vs. method acting,
PBS vs. Fox, Cultural Studies vs. New Criticism, etc. etc. etc.).  I
was already bored with the arguments when I was an undergraduate; I
think that other cultures must laugh at us.

All the best,


David Megginson                 david at

xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev at
Archived as:
To (un)subscribe, mailto:majordomo at the following message;
(un)subscribe xml-dev
To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo at the following message;
subscribe xml-dev-digest
List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa at

More information about the Xml-dev mailing list