Appending to an XML document

Walter Underwood wunder at
Fri Dec 10 22:57:28 GMT 1999

At 11:09 AM 12/10/99 -0500, Larry Watanabe wrote:
>If a log file can't easily be represented as a well-formed XML document,
>then that does indicate a problem with the spec.

Well, time series data (a logfile) isn't normalizable in the 
relational model, so there's a problem with the SQL spec, too. 
And I'm having a lot of trouble accessing my meatloaf with my 
SCSI bus, so let's fix that while we're at it.

Seriously, I think it is good that XML documents have a 
definate end. But the logfile problem can be solved in
two (near-)standard ways.

1) Treat the logfile as an XML Fragment (see proposal at W3C).
   An XML Fragment needs to be "well-balanced", but doesn't have
   to have a single root element.

2) Treat the logfile as a series of XML documents, each of 
   which is a log record. They could be separated by formfeed
   (a character illegal inside an XML document). Since the
   the XML declaration is technically optional, it could be

But nobody every made representing logfiles a requirement
for a markup language. It is usually far more important that
logfiles are compact and are readable if the program crashes
(or the disk fills) when a record is partly-written.

Walter R. Underwood
Senior Staff Engineer
Infoseek Software
GO Network, part of The Walt Disney Company
wunder at (my product)

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