The Syntax is API Fallacy (was Re: Short Essay: Squeezing RDF into a Jav
Steven R. Newcomb writes: > The "syntax is API" fallacy is a well-intentioned simplifying > assumption that, instead of simplifying, creates complexity and > significantly reduces human productivity. Just so. When we're working in the database world, it should be quite easy to explain the place of structured markup by referring to the different layers of information models: 1. Data Model - the physical organization of the information in storage (such as a collection of SQL tables with primary keys, etc.). 2. Object Model - the logical organization of the information from a programmer's point of view (for example, a collection of Classes that are derived from and/or contain other classes). 3. Interchange Model - the static, serial view of the information for archiving or interchange with external systems (for example, an XML document type). Data system designers are used to thinking about the data and (more recently) the object models, but are just starting to get their minds around the interchange model, now that the Web is enabling (or forcing) them to open up their systems and share more information with outsiders. The most important point in this structure is that the layers are isolated: there is an n:n relationship between interchange models and related object models, and an n:n relationship between object models and related data models. > Einstein once said something to the effect that things should be as > simple as possible, and no simpler. In the domain of information > interchange, groves, inheritable information architectures, and > property sets for inheritable information architectures make things > as simple as possible, and no simpler. Fair enough, but there is no single data model or object model that is appropriate for all systems, whether they happen to use XML or not: Groves (or the DOM, for that matter, or the RDF data model) can serve as an intermediate layer, but there needs to be a domain-specific object model built on top that hides and abstracts the details. XML should rarely be the central focus of a system's design, any more than SQL or CORBA should be; it's just a (very good) enabling standard for the interchange layer, just as SQL is an enabling standard for the data layer and CORBA is an enabling standard for the object layer. All the best, David -- David Megginson david@m... http://www.megginson.com/ 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...)
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