(cannonical model)

Pavel Velikhov pvelikho at
Thu May 27 00:51:41 BST 1999

Do you have any thoughts about the cannonical model spec at

To me it seems as a reversal of all the good things that XML modeling
offer and a move toward network database model. Here is what looks very
offending to me:

1. All relationships are represented as IDREFs.
Apart from the current XML problem, that IDREFs are untyped, this
sounds like a very inflexible approach to me. Many relationships can
be modeled by subelements. That way you can balance replication and
efficiency (checking subelements is a local operation and should be
much more efficient than traversing links).

2. All relationships are materialized.
By keeping explicit IDREF pointers all the relationships of the ER
schema are materialized. This sounds quite alarming.

3. XML elements are not used to model data at all.
I.e. only the entity is an element, with no children. Isn't XML's
goal to avoid these flat unnested representations?

Is it obvious that the cannonical model proposal has some serious 
problems, or am I not getting something?

Thank you
Pavel Velikhov

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