Re: Opinions requested
Thanks for the update on SIM. It's definitely more advanced in its development than I thought. A few additional comments, and a clarification: At 03:40 PM 3/6/1999 +1100, Marcelo Cantos wrote: >More important than any specifics, however, is the issue of what you >call a DBMS. To me, a DBMS is a database management system (seems >painfully obvious, but I think it bears repeating). You may argue >that a product is not a DBMS if it does not support feature X, and I >don't entirely disagree. When one talks of a DBMS one is conjuring up >a certain image in the mind of the listener, and that image may well >include feature X. To be fair to SIM, however, the essence of a DBMS >is that it manages a collection of data. If it doesn't support >transactions, this does not entail that it does not manage data. >Rather it simply has limits on the way the data is managed (i.e. it >doesn't manage data as well as one would like). > >You clearly believe that transaction support is part of the essence of >what makes a DBMS. I disagree, indeed, I profoundly disagree. There >is nothing in the concept of a database that mandates any such >requirement. Rather I would say that transaction support is an >important issue for any _good_ DBMS. Likewise for referential >integrity and concurrency (and, for that matter, support for >declarative queries, use of indexes, a rich set of fundamental data >types, etc.). If I recall correctly, dBase III was generally >acknowledged to be a DBMS though it lacked most of these requirements, >and could barely even call itself relational! I agree with all of the above, and I didn't mean to particularly single out transaction support. In addition to the point you raise that a DBMS calls to mind a particular set of features (not all of which need to be present to qualify a system as a DBMS), I'd add that particular systems are developed based on previous work within a particular paradigm (oh man, referencing Kuhn before I've even had coffee -- been a grad student too long) and I see SIM as much more following in the lineage of IR systems than DBMS systems. I'll grant there's overlap, and SIM is obviously moving towards a graceful integration of the two areas, but I'd characterize it as moving from an IR engine towards a combined IR/DBMS system. >I guess this all boils down to what's in a name. At the end of the >day, it is far more important to know what a product does and does not >do than what you call it. > Agreed, but as you mentioned, particular names invoke an understanding of what a system does/what features it may be expected to support, etc. While these understandings may overlap from one person to the next, often they don't, and I think DBMS are an example of an area where they can mean quite different things to different people. Hence, the frequency of people saying 'DBMS don't handle SGML/XML' occuring side by side with people saying 'what, are you crazy? Of course they do.' >I am sceptical that any RDBMS vendor can come to the party in terms of >performance. Past attempts to try to force text into a relational, >table or object based paradigm have not reaped great success (Oracle's >ConText comes to mind as an example of how forcing a square peg into a >round hole requires sacrificing the edges of performance). I would be >surprised if any of the major database vendors would be prepared to >venture away from their core competency (the relational model) to >address the performance issues. > I share your skepticism, but we can hope. If nothing else, there appears to be at least the dawnings of an understanding among the major DBMS vendors that there's a huge market for text management/retrieval products. Some of the approaches taken by the object-oriented database folks, like Informix's data blades, struck me as having promise. >I strongly disagree that SIM doesn't handle SGML/XML well. Ah, now here, I'm afraid you're reading words into my mouth. To clarify, I think SIM handles SGML/XML very well indeed; one of the best I've seen, in fact. I said I don't think any DBMS handles SGML/XML well, but I also excluded SIM from the DBMS category. Sorry, I should have been clearer about that. >From what you've said, though, SIM does appear to be shaping up as a very interesting IR/DBMS hybrid. The referential integrity hooks are a very nice plus. I have one piece of advice: promote yourselves more! :) I looked over the SIM web site before my post, and didn't see any discussion of the new features you're working on. A few words about future directions you're exploring for your product would be a good thing. Jerome McDonough -- jmcdonou@l... | (......) Library Systems Office, 386 Doe, U.C. Berkeley | \ * * / Berkeley, CA 94720-6000 (510) 642-5168 | \ <> / "Well, it looks easy enough...." | \ -- / SGNORMPF!!! -- From the Famous Last Words file | |||| xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev@i... Archived as: http://www.lists.ic.ac.uk/hypermail/xml-dev/ and on CD-ROM/ISBN 981-02-3594-1 To (un)subscribe, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; (un)subscribe xml-dev To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; subscribe xml-dev-digest List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa@i...)
PURCHASE STYLUS STUDIO ONLINE TODAY!
Purchasing Stylus Studio from our online shop is Easy, Secure and Value Priced!
Download The World's Best XML IDE!
Accelerate XML development with our award-winning XML IDE - Download a free trial today!
Subscribe in XML format