What is XML for?

Tim Bray tbray at textuality.com
Fri Jan 29 22:18:19 GMT 1999

At 02:49 PM 1/29/99 -0600, Paul Prescod wrote:
>The data structures observed in XML are "annotated tree with second-class
>links." This can be used to model "annotated directed graph" and even just
>"annotated graph" if you pretend that the links are first-class.
>"Annotated graphs" are the basic structures used by object databases. So
>you seem to be saying that it would be really nice if there were
>high-performance object databases. 

I'm saying: I want a database that can do XML, by which I mean infinite 
levels of attributed nested sequenced constructs.  You're saying: since this 
is the basic structure used by object databases, what you really want is 
an object database.  Maybe.  The hypothesis that object databases are
a good basis for general-purpose high-performance XML repositories is
one that's plausible on the face of it, but I have yet to see existence
proof that it really truly works.  I also know about other groups
working hard building native XML repositories on a technology basis 
that has nothing to do with OODBMS, and their hypotheses look
equally plausible to me.  And I haven't seen their stuff proved in
action either.

What was really worrying me was what I thought was an assertion that 
a repository that directly models XML document structures on a large
scale wasn't interesting; I think it is. -T.

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