[XML-SIG] Re: XML Filesystem

Dave Kuhlman dkuhlman@enterpriselink.com
Mon, 18 May 1998 11:43:38 -0700

Please let me add my support and requests along these lines -- To
make XML most useful to me, it would provide the following:

1. An easy, seamless way to convert XML text files into and out of a
light-weight object-oriented database.  This database would have
just enough OO functionality to support the XML DOM.

2. I would be able to perform this conversion (a) from the command
line, (b) using a GUI utility, and (c) programmatically.  Anyone
could, for example, extract chunks out of the database so as to
produce XML text to be fed to an XML capable Web browser (Mozilla
5.0, I'm hoping) or to an XML capable JavaBean or to ...

3. I would have an API that was exactly (not just closely) the same
as the DOM API for XML.  This API would enable me to write an
application to access and modify XML documents/objects "in situ",
i.e. "in place", within the database without reading in and writing
out an entire (text) document.

4. The implementation of the light-weight database would be Open
Source; I could distribute it anywhere; and I could compile it into
my C/C++ application.  I could include a package that supports it
into my Java application.

5. My favorite scripting languages (Perl, Python, and Tcl) would all
come with support for this light-weight database and the XML DOM API
that enables me to use it.  (Maybe I would have to compile this
support into my language of choice as an optional module.)

6. There would also be some support for storing multiple XML
documents in a database in an hierarchical directory structure
within the database.

I'm not sure what parts of this support, if any, needs to be at the
operating system level, nor at what level in the operating system. 
That's partially because I'm not particularly well informed about
operating system design.

But, it's also because I've been following the Perl and Python XML
mailing lists (you notice that I cross posted to the Python XML
SIG), and I like very much the direction that Perl and Python XML
support is going.  Providing this support at the language level
makes good sense to me, especially if it is based on code that is a
bit more general than a specific language, as the use of James
Clark's expat is, and maybe a light-weight OODB could be. If XML
does become the "next big thing", I believe that the XML support in
Perl and Python will help it get there. Thanks lots.

I apologize in advance for the verbogosity.  I've been tossing and
turning at night over this for some time, now.


Matt Sergeant wrote:
> Hi,
> I have the opportunity of influencing a new operating system, and I
> would like everyone on this list to give their opinion on this. My idea
> is to have XML support at the system services level (one layer above the
> kernel), as well as support for ordinary files. New files should be
> created in XML format as preference (obviously except those that are for
> a specific purpose for another platform, eg zip files). The dtd would be
> able to describe to the system the operations that can be performed on
> the file, and possibly even how to perform those operations.
> This system would have to be able to cope with binary files too (I
> assume this is not a problem).
> One of the advantages of this would be that there are now two levels of
> file system corruption - at the file system itself, and also when a file
> is not well formed + valid.
> Please give your opinions so that I don't go advocating this elsewhere
> if it's not a good idea.
> Matt.
> --
> Fastnet Software Ltd.  Perl Consultant.  Web Development.
> See:  http://www.fastnetltd.ndirect.co.uk for more details
> Also Perl-Win32 Database and ASP FAQ's and modules:
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Dave Kuhlman
EnterpriseLink Technology Corp
2542 S. Bascom Ave., Suite #203
Campbell, CA 95008