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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I still haven't worked out why outlines are da bomb.

    Reason #1: Dave has been writing outliners for 20 years. If outliners weren't da bomb, why would he have wasted so much of his life writing them (and made so much money selling them)?

    Reason #2: Microsoft grokked Outliners. Look at Word. Look at their market cap and their market share. Apple didn't grok Outliners. Look at MacWrite II. Look at their market cap and their market share. Any questions? (aside from the obvious one: Why won't Apple

    • Reason #3: Most structures are hierarchical, can be made to fit into a hierarchical format, or be gently eased into one. A list, for example, is a flat hierarchy.

      This is obviously it. Look at the huge success enjoyed by hierarchical databases like H-Oracle, Hibase, and MyHQL. Sure, it seemed threatened by that crazy "relational model" stuff a while back, but the hierarchical model, which maps so well onto most real world processes and data, was never really in danger.
      • The part that you're not taking into account is that this is mostly for human data. Most people do not want their data to be relational (well, at least not normalized), because it would put the incentive on them to find out things. Imagine trying to look up an address for Bob Foo and getting back "42, StreetID=2573, CityID=09708, CountryID=25". It wouldn't be very useful.

        Relational databases are made to be customized by people that create schemata *. Hierarchical is just one approach that happens t

        --

        -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

        • I'm not concerned with the _speed_ of hierarchical databases, I'm concerned with the flexibility.

          It is a fact that an hierarchical structure can be expressed in the relational model. I do not think that the reverse is true.

          I fail to see the purpose of an XML database.

          I defy you to come up with a useful XML database schema (whatever that would be! a DTD?) that can easily handle, for the sake of argument, information about films.

          This would be quite difficult given the fact that this sort of data is in no
          • You're stubbornly refusing to separate the users -- those that made outlines succesful -- from the developers -- which may or may not like the relational model, but either way know how to make it work (something which users don't. And as it is, they're the ones creating the data repositories).

            Keep in mind that the thing that makes outlines tick is that they are for people that don't know about data models. Those people don't care about normalized data (at least, if it means they have to learn somet

            --

            -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

            • XML is hierarchical. You clearly do not know what that model is, however.

              XML with ids is the hierarchical model. In the hierarchical model ids are called pointers. That's what the hierarchical model is all about!

              But I'll let the experts speak a bit now because there's no way I can these things better than they can.

              Chris Date talks a bit about pointers [firstsql.com] in that one.

              And a whole bunch of articles by Fabian Pascal: 1 [techtarget.com], 2 [techtarget.com], 3 [techtarget.com], 4 [techtarget.com], 5 [techtarget.com], and 6 [techtarget.com].

              • IDs are just one single, simple case which I used for demonstrative purposes. If you want something a lot more potent, you can go for XPointers. Those can do a lot more.

                I do know what the hierarchical model is. I just don't see the point in spitting on something because it is hierarchical or looks like something hierarchical (although there are cases taken into account by the XML model that don't map well, if at all, to hierarchical modelling). XQuery is showing very serious promises, and that's re

                --

                -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

                • I was only spitting on the hierarchical model as a general-purpose solution for data storage.

                  Of course, since the relational model works perfectly well for hierarchical data, as well as other types of data, I don't see a reason to embrace special-purpose hierarchical solutions.

                  What is "semi-structured"? Can you define it? Sounds like a buzzword with little meaning.

                  How can data be semi-structured? Either it has meaning (structure) or it doesn't.

                  Perhaps you mean a complex data type? In which case, I'd
                  • I was only spitting on the hierarchical model as a general-purpose solution for data storage.

                    Ah, in that case we agree (though it's a point on which I'm ready to be proven wrong).

                    Of course, since the relational model works perfectly well for hierarchical data, as well as other types of data, I don't see a reason to embrace special-purpose hierarchical solutions.

                    Would you be happier entering your use.perl comments using something that would map to a relation base, or using (X|HT)ML? It's

                    --

                    -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]