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From Tim Bray <tb...@textuality.com>
Subject Re: XML Database
Date Fri, 07 Jul 2000 17:23:26 GMT
At 08:43 AM 07/07/00 +0200, Francois Wirth wrote:
>Just want to know if anyone considered developing an XML driven database
>like Tamino. I would be nice to work on an open source database that uses
>Xerces, Xalan etc. for the XML processing. I know this is a huge project,
>but I think there could be a lot of uses for this database and it would be a
>challenging project. It could just be based on XML technology XQL, Soap, XML
>Shemas etc. 

Two comments.

1. It's going to be really hard.  Core to XML are the notions of nested
   structures, and of sequence being significant.  In particular XML's notion
   of "mixed content" is devilishly hard to implement efficiently.

2. The "market" (probably not the right word for free software) may not be
   that big... XML is superoptimized for interchange, and a lot of people
   who are using it are just using it pump data back and forth between one
   boring old database and another.

3. In a lot of cases, you can get perfectly good results by storing   
   small chunks of XML in a boring old relational database.

So to be honest, I'm not sure what the applications for a native XML 
database are.

Having said all that, people like Software AG are betting big bucks that
there's a lot of people who want to do this (disclosure: I did a bunch
of consulting for them back in '97-98) and they may be right.  And if
someone around here wants to dive into this big ugly problem, that would
be really cool.  After all, web servers aren't easy either, and back in 
'92 it wasn't obvious that very many people would need them. -Tim


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