OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help

cam message

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [List Home]

Subject: Re: [xml-dev] Designing XML to Support Information Evolution

[Comments at end]

Michael Champion wrote:
> On May 17, 2004, at 10:20 AM, Roger L. Costello wrote:
> >
> > 1. How you structure your information in XML has a tremendous impact
> > on the processing of the information.
> >
> > 2. Hierarchy makes processing information hard!  There exists a
> > relationship between hierarchy of information and the complexity of
> > code to process the information.  The relationship is roughly: the
> > greater the hierarchy, the greater the complexity of code to process
> > the information  (Some hierarchy is good, of course.  But the amount
> > of hierarchy that is good is probably much less than one might
> > imagine, certainly less than I thought, as described above.)
> >
> > 3. Flat data is good data!  Flatten out the hierarchy of your data.
> > It makes the information flexible and easier to process.
> >
> > 4. Order hurts!  Requiring a strict order of the information makes for
> > a brittle design.  It is only when I allowed the lots and pickers to
> > occur in any order that the flexibility and simplicity kicked in.
> >
> > Comments?  /Roger
> I'm wondering if you haven't rediscovered the relational model?  (Or at
> least you've discovered the importance of "normalization" in the
> relational sense even in the XML context).  But why bother with XML at
> all (except maybe as a data interchange format) here?  Wouldn't a
> relational reporting tool be much easier than XSLT with this data
> structure?
>   C.J. Date gave a speech recently
> http://searchdatabase.techtarget.com/originalContent/
> 0,289142,sid13_gci962948,00.html complaining that XML is trying to take
> over the world.  Maybe he has a point :-)  I certainly don't agree with
> all he's saying, but if you are modeling data rather than exchanging
> documents, I would think that the relational model would be the
> starting point until you run into its walls.
> Clearly if flexibility is paramount, order and hierarchy are a pain,
> and there's not much gain *if* you have unique identies for everything
> and the identity is all you need to know to figure out what to do with
> the information.
>   On the other hand, if *context* is important, i.e. the intepretation /
> semantics / meaning / processing paradigm of some bit of information
> depends more on where it stands in relation to other information, then
> order and hierarchy are critical.   That's where the XML "data model"
> (by which I mean "fairly deeply hierarchical labelled trees in which
> order is preserved", not the InfoSet per se) comes into its own.

This very issue of context is part of the mission of the OASIS Content
Assembly Mechanism (CAM) TC[1], whose specifications are OASIS Committee
Draft Specifications. The only thing that I see standing in the way of
CAM being as successful as it possibly can be is vendor adoption - as of
now, there are not an adequate amount of vendors (IMHO) that have
announced support for this emerging standard.

Kind Regards,
Joe Chiusano
Booz | Allen | Hamilton
Strategy and Technology Consultants to the World

[1] http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/tc_home.php?wg_abbrev=cam 
> -----------------------------------------------------------------
> The xml-dev list is sponsored by XML.org <http://www.xml.org>, an
> initiative of OASIS <http://www.oasis-open.org>
> The list archives are at http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/
> To subscribe or unsubscribe from this list use the subscription
> manager: <http://www.oasis-open.org/mlmanage/index.php>

Kind Regards,
Joseph Chiusano
Booz | Allen | Hamilton

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [List Home]