Re: native xml processing vs what Postgres and Oracle offer

From: paul c <>
Date: Wed, 03 Dec 2008 14:19:31 GMT
Message-ID: <TzwZk.2286$si6.792_at_edtnps83>

Brian Selzer wrote:
> Does that mean that you now acknowledge the fact that a forum is in essence
> heirarchical? ...

Nope. You can display messages that way, store them that way if you insist (I wouldn't), but if your programming operators don't use a relational structure or an similarly powerful abstraction/indirection (assuming that somewhere, somebody has devised such a thing), you are giving up what Codd called symmetric exploitation.

Looks to me that anybody who uses xml or its ilk to manipulate data gives up that ability from the get-go. I can sympathize with people who are more or less forced by common platforms to display things by using that ponderous and closed-door syntax but syntax has nothing to do with data design. Using a hierarchical data interface, which is actually what the OP was assuming, is just asking for endless headaches from my point of view although I will admit that technocrats see it differently, as "jobs for the boys". Of course, when a requirement you didn't first imagine came up, you could invent some attributes to make your hierarchy look like relations but that seems like a lot of wasted work to me. It would be easier to start with relations.

This thread reminds me of long-ago meetings that truly never ended because there was always somebody who didn't get the basic point and would drag them on forever. I knew a former jet pilot who went into data modelling to avoid a lifetime hitch under a dictator. When he tried to sell a simpler but more versatile programming model, one transport industry customer just couldn't make the switch. He compared them to hot air balloon users who didn't think winged vehicles would work because the typical plane doesn't have a gondola.

The other day, I saw a djikstra note that mentions this inability at:

He suggested a general ignorance and fear of what he called "radical novelty". I don't know if he ever met Codd and if he did whether their conversation was on-topic or more mundane (as it was when Groucho met Eliot and Ford met Edison, for the first time)! Received on Wed Dec 03 2008 - 15:19:31 CET

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