3/15/2002 9:22:36 AM, "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <clbullar@i...> wrote: >Maybe I am just getting foggy in my dotage, but do we >need Xlinks if we use relational dbs and if so, for what >other than perhaps a convenient transport representation? That's an awfully good point. As anyone who knows who I work for can imagine, I think the "native" XML approach has a lot of good use cases. Nevertheless, maintaining relationships (and referential integrity) is simply not something that XML is very good at. Linkbases are "better" than hardcoded links in this respect, but still fall afoul of C.J. Date's frequent rants against using "pointers" to relate pieces of data to one another. Anything displayed via the web will ultimate resolve to hyperlinks, but that doesn't imply that they should be stored and processed as "pointers." I think the most significant advantage that XPath 2 / XQuery will offer is "joins" to handle relationships that are implied by values rather than demanded by pointers. This is exactly Date's point -- find relationships that exist at runtime with joins rather than hard-code them with links/pointers. So, if you're using an RDBMS today, I agree that XLink doesn't offer much. In XQuery-aware XML databases that are being prototyped today, that may also be true ... I'm still sorting out in my own mind how XLink/Topic Maps and XQuery fit together. I suspect that some future Topic Maps powered by XPath 2 will be able to do some interesting things that would be very difficult in an RDBMS ...
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