Ben Langhinrichs

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XML and Notes - Non-relational relations

Mon 2 Jun 2003, 01:46 PM

by Ben Langhinrichs
It has been interesting read some of Simon St. Laurent's blogs on XML, such as XML is not Aritotelean and Different colored glasses, since many of them could have been written about Lotus Notes and its non-relational way of storing data that is loosely, but not tightly related.  Simon quotes Elliotte Rusty Harold from Bill Venners' article What's wrong with XML API's?
Elliotte Rusty Harold: "What I've just described is essentially seeing the world through database colored glasses—everything's a table. And yes you could probably figure a way to stuff most anything that can be represented in a computer into a table, but some things fit better than other things. A different version of the same problem is saying well everything's an object, and we can model everything as objects. And that's equally flawed, for different reasons. " link

I think that we should look to the on-going debates about XML with interest, as they share a lot in common with the debates about Notes and its non-relational store.  While there is nothing wrong with relational databases, they have their place and looser collections of data around combinations of schemas and non-schemas have their place as well.  Maybe we should be participating in and learning from and teaching to those in the XML world.

Copyright 2003 Genii Software Ltd.

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