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.
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