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Re: What is the logic of storing XML in a Database?

From: Bernard Peek <>
Date: 28 Mar 2007 22:07:46 GMT
Message-ID: <>

On 2007-03-28, Marshall <> wrote:

>> There's also the niggling detail that the standard XML query language
>> can return different results depending on whether or not it's a schema-
>> aware implementation, and I can understand that that would make you
>> unhappy.
>> But why would you be unhappy about XML as a transport format? It's
>> mostly an improvement over what we had before - CSV files, binary
>> formats, etc.
> Geeze, I'm tempted to flame, but you asked so reasonably, I'd
> be embarrassed if I did. (What is it about XML that drives so many
> to extremes, either pro or anti?)
> To answer:
> I'm an engineer, and I have deeply held engineer values. I value
> efficiency. I value simplicity. I value what Josh Bloch calls the
> "power-to-weight ratio" of a design: how much can you express
> vs. how much do you have to contend with to do it. Perhaps
> most of all, I value elegance, which is in part all of the above
> and in part an ineffable, aesthetic response.
> XML embodies the opposite of all of these virtues.

I often describe myself as an engineer. I'm always looking for an "elegant solution" too. But I'm basically in favour of XML because it rather elegantly solves some problems for me. I have a rather different view because these days I'm a long way from hands-on development work, except on my own supremely baroque projects. Perhaps it only seems simple because I allow the complicated stuff to whistle over my head.

> It is wasteful and verbose. It is wildly complicated, and
> worse, complicated in the face of a task that is fundamentally
> simple. It is confusing: XPath, XQuery, XSLT, etc. There are
> two different schema standard, DTD and XML-Schema. The
> man with one schema standard knows how to structure
> his data; the man with two knows nothing.

Like Topsy, it growed. It started out as an interchange format and did that tolerably well. Then new bells and whistles got added, and....

In search of cognoscenti
Received on Wed Mar 28 2007 - 17:07:46 CDT

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