Oracle FAQ Your Portal to the Oracle Knowledge Grid

Home -> Community -> Usenet -> comp.databases.theory -> Re: why hierarchy?

Re: why hierarchy?

From: Cimode <>
Date: 26 Jul 2006 10:55:27 -0700
Message-ID: <>

JOG wrote:
> I spoke in a recent thread of my distaste for XML from a theoretical
> standpoint (nevermind the processing overhead of using an XML parser
> within any even vaguely time critical application). Well I wanted to
> highlight why I made the statement. Below are 4 examples of recent
> quotes concerning XML databases from academia, nevermind the business
> world:
> "XML is capable of holding information that is far richer in structure
> than the rows and columns of a relational database. If you don't feel
> that rows-and-columns are constraining you then either you don't really
> need XML at all, or you've become locked into a way of thinking that
> because tables are the only thing you can store, tables must be what
> users want."
> - Michael Kay, xsl-list mailing list
> "In the wild (that is, in documents, reports, and program data
> structures as they are encountered in daily life), information takes
> forms rather different from third normal form. XML arose from efforts
> to represent documents in a device- and application-independent way,
> and it reflects the complexity of documents and their stubborn refusal
> to fit into tabular form."
> - C. M. Sperberg-Mcqueen, ACM Queue 2005
> "The popular schema languages are generally too simplistic to model the
> increasingly complex and dynamic information structures. Because of
> this mismatch, in some cases, even if schemas exist, the result is
> unfortunately the same as in the previous cases: "rich structure" often
> translates in practice to "no structure." For example, the commonly
> used relational and object-oriented schema languages lack adequate
> support for describing alternative structures (e.g., authors or editors
> for books), and for conditional and correlated structures."
> - Daniela Florescu, ACM Queue 2005
> "In XML, data can have an elaborate and intricate structure that is
> significantly richer and more complex than a table of rows and columns.
> Calling this semi-structured is misleading, just as it would be to
> describe DNA molecules as semi-structured because they are less simply
> regular than those of table salt. XML seeks to make possible capturing
> and expressing the structure of the data as we understand it, without
> forcing it into a too-simple structure."
> - C. M. Sperberg-Mcqueen, ACM Queue 2005
> The last 3 are from a top notch publication, and I find this return of
> focus to hierarchical models since 1995 extremely frustrating.

Couple links from for XML nonsense...

On the algorhytmic consequences...

On the myth of self describing XML

An overall view on the *advantages* of XML Received on Wed Jul 26 2006 - 12:55:27 CDT

Original text of this message