Firebird News

Thursday, January 06, 2005

XML *IN* Firebird - question

Lester Caine is asking on Firebird-Architects :

The job for the new year is to make a better interface to the XML
schemas that I am being asked to process. Having already established
that we do not want to store raw data as an unprocessed flat file with
all the XML tags in place, the obvious next question is "How should we
store it".

I think the discussion here should be on a 'standard' way of processing
any XML schema such that we can map the information into additional XML$
system tables and be able to rebuild the schema from that. (*NOT* part
of the engine just yet , but perhaps something for FB6 or 7 ). This
would then provide a basis on which to build the data that goes with the
schema, while at the same time making it searchable in a relational way.

As a starting point, I am looking at genealogical data. I have a 2000+
grid of CAINE/HUM PHRIES family history in a GEDCOM format, which I
would like to convert to XML. Both are flat file with tags formats, so
the basic conversion is simple, but there is no agreement on an XML
schema yet for the data, so I am looking at a data model to store the
raw data in Firebird, which can then be extracted in which ever way the
final XML goes. *THAT* is when I realised that the architecture of how
to do it is much more important than the XML.

So the first element of the jigsaw, is probably a table of elements,
with a tree structure describing the links to source elements, and
fields for storing the format and pattern information. This should
perhaps be something that the 'XML Binary Characterisation Working
Group' should be looking into as part of the standard, but they seem to
be having trouble deciding who pays for the catering next time they meet ;)

So am I alone here, or am I on the right track. I am having fun at the
moment with the simple matter of managing locations in the genealogical
data. Every event has a location, but there is no means of populating
that location from a location table. *THAT* seems to me what is
fundamentally wrong with XML, or have I just missed the trick of how to
do it?

Lester Caine

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