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Xml vs Embedded Database


Think: small, tiny embedded databases that are easy to install and configure as a
solution. Not that small, tiny embedded databases exist yet (maybe small-medium ones
do, like firebird or sqllite). Many of the applications I've seen using XML do 
use XML for data storage. Things like customer accounts, log ins, program 
settings, user settings <-- This is data. As the program gets larger, the XML gets 
harder to read.This is not the case with a small tiny embeddable database. A database 
is scalable and readable as it gets larger. As XML grows, it becomes a larger tree 
which you cannot read or understand.

Many times, data is very simple and square. Yet people use XML. This is not the right
application for XML, is it? When you know what your data looks like, basically
a bunch of squares (like in a spreadsheet) it should be kept that way. It's just 
re-inventing the wheel to convert the data to a tree/xml structure.

The fact is, most data is stored as data.. in squares. So why mark it up? In rare
situations you may have to mark it up. But in most data situations.. like on the 
internet.. people are sending other people square data. If you send me an inventory
or a blogroll, it's going to have Dates, Times, Content. This can all be stored
in a simple square spreadsheet format. Who says I cannot feed people square data?
Because there is no means to do this yet? (then we need a means).

When you want to grab somebody else's content from a web page, would you like to
parse one big HTML file, or would you like to parse one big XML file? They are
similar format.. and the only current solution people seem to be using. But what
about parsing a database file, or a data format file? Why not this method of storage
and shipment of information?

The problem with databases like MySql is they are large and hard to install or ship
with an application.. but with databases like firebird or other smaller embeddable
ones (future idea), it's not so bad to ship a database file with your application. We 
may see tiny embeddable databases take over a lot of the data storage in applications
in the future. If people figure it out. Again, the key is having first an easy to 
install tiny embeddable database (one that can scale.. miniture, small, medium). 
Tools to read these tiny embeddable databases will be needed. --L505


See also: C2.com : XmlSucks, Xml Is Annoying, Universal Storage and Data Exchange Format

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