Appending to an XML document

uche.ogbuji at uche.ogbuji at
Fri Dec 10 14:39:29 GMT 1999

> currently I'm busy designing an XML based log format myself. In 
> contrast to "classic line based logging", appending indeed is 
> prohibitively costly in XML. Thus I decided not to log into a 
> wellformed XML document, but to stick with a sequence of <Event> type 
> doc-fragments, just being well-formed per event.
> Of course one can not parse the result immediately, but at the time 
> of log analysis (or whatever you do with your event data), it's 
> trivial to pre- and append the necessary tags to enclose the doc-
> fragments.
> XML was just not designed to fit the demands of concatenatiation. But 
> I found the value of structuring single events in a "semi-structured" 
> (read: well-formed) way valuable enough to choose XML. The "missing 
> enclosing tag" is not really a serious problem if you delay its 
> insertation until REALLY necessary.

I don't really see this as a problem with XML.  Why must you consider your log 
a well-formed XML document?  If you instead treat it as a well-formed XML 
external parsed entity, then you are freed of the append problem, while being 
fully XML compliant.  And, of course, you already hit upon this solution 
yourself, by enclosing your log in a simple wrapper to create an XML document 
for processing.  Despite the recent controversy about EPEs, most XML tools 
should support them, and so you shouldn't even be too constrained in your XML 

But again, I don't see a problem with XML here.

Uche Ogbuji
FourThought LLC, IT Consultants
uche.ogbuji at	(970)481-0805
Software engineering, project management, Intranets and Extranets

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