[xquery-talk] Collections - family relationships

David Lee dlee at calldei.com
Mon Jan 6 06:28:26 PST 2014

>> Michael Kay

I would say it is actually a rather unfortunate feature of the XML model that the partitioning of data into documents (and collections) is quite so visible at the query level, since this partitioning is often a "physical design" choice rather than something that flows naturally from the conceptual data model. It would be nice to have a model that hid this distinction, e.g. by making the entire database (or the entire web) appear to the query as a single document. But that's not the way life is.
I would like to add, not only total refreshing agreement to this sentiment but take it one step sideways.
This isn't a new thought but its one us compute people often forget.
Folders and Files.    The whole concept of "The Filesystem" ... having to put things into Files, and Folders of Files and Volumes etc. is archaic ...
I believe historically it was done both to try to model "the real world" of "The Office" into terms people could understand (literally files of paper bound in little file jackets put into folders, put into filing cabinets).   AND as convenience to early disk based computing  ... a simple way to organize data.
This metaphor  Documents and Collections (or Directories or Cabinets) has persevered for decades and now is so ingrained its the only way most people think data *must* be represented or stored or packaged.   Onceaponatime we thought computers would free us from the Paper World ... but it has not - why ? because we used them to model paper !!!

That and paper is a particularly nice way to view text ... 


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