RE: Limericks and XML...
Seairth, I think you just restated the document vs. data conundrum. If you're writing markup for a document for humans, all you may need is: > <poem type="limerick"> > There was a young lady named Bright > Whose speed was much faster than light. > She set out one day, > in a relative way, > And returned on the previous night. > </poem> > But if you're doing automated limerick validation, that's not enough information. I would say the data is unnormalized for that intent. (There are conflicting definitions of "normalize"; I mean it in the data modeling sense of the term.) Too many compound data fields, in other words, forcing the validation engine to do its own parsing for syllabilification. Your other example is more like it: > <poem type="limerick"> > > <line><foot><syllable>There</syllable><syllable>was</syllable> > <syllable>a</syllable></foot>...</line> > . > . > . > . > </poem> > There's not quite enough information in the above, either, but it's closer. In my opinion, XML is just a syntax for describing things. It may not be the most efficient or intuitive, but I think it has enough universality to handle just about description you care to write in it, to any level of detail. Yesterday someone told me he didn't think XML was a good language for data modeling (I have a feeling he doesn't like SQL DDL, either). What is 'good'? There's no universal 'good' that can be applied in every situation. Good is what fits the constraints of the system. Later, Jeff
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