Subject Re: [Firebird-general] XML (was: Web Administration of Firebird)
Author Martijn Tonies
> > "SP: Many developers have been looking for XML support and, while most
> > database systems can export or dump to XML, they are looking for native
> > storage. Is it left to the developer to use a scripting or programming
> > language, or is this perhaps a feature of Firebird? What are your XML
> > features?"
> >
> > Native XML storage? What's that supposed to mean? Rubbish!
> Yes, it's a horribly misleading and confusing term. I think that when
> people say they want "native XML", what they really want is an XML column
> type that supports DOM, XPATH, or some other XML-specific operations.
> This is not a bad idea, IHMO.

Not a bad idea? Why not? What exactly does XML mean then? What
would you expect the engine to do with it? Validate it? Ask for a specific

XML is human readable crap used to exchange data between systems
that don't need human readable crap with too much bandwidth to spend :-)

> "Native" seems to imply that XML is actually saved to disk as XML, which
> seems a) irrelevant, since data independence dictates that we should not
> care how it's saved to disk, and b) undesirable, since most of the things
> people would want to do with XML would perform much better with a parsed
> DOM, not straight text. But of course, this doesn't stop marketing
> departments from using the term to promote their clearly superior,
> next-generation technology. ;)

Ho hum... talking about a step back :-)

> The ability to manipulate XML data through SQL seems more useful than the
> ability to dump relational data as XML. Some DBMSes provide functions for
> projecting data into XML, but since there's no standard mapping from
> relations->XML, every DBMS may conceivably do it differently, and none of
> these variations may be what the application already needs. For instance,
> one common usage of XML is to send structured data to Flash, but if you
> have no control over the format required by the Flash movie, you're back
> to writing procedural code anyway, unless your DBMS's mapping function is
> highly configurable (and it isn't, typically). Not a big deal, IMO.

That's the problem... "XML" by itself isn't defined at all...

btw, I too use XML for some things - for example, configuration.
It's quite useful in those cases...

With regards,

Martijn Tonies
Database Workbench - developer tool for InterBase, Firebird, MySQL & MS SQL
Upscene Productions