I was at a conference the other day and was talking to a senior IT executive who said something along the lines of: “… but, wait a minute, XML is very inflexible and unforgiving … it requires that all content be, for example, in a single schema …”
This provoked a few insights:
- It’s not XML that unforgiving and inflexible. It’s the conventional tools (that weren’t designed to manage XML content from the start) that you are trying to use to manage it that are giving you this impression. Au contraire, XML lets you basically mark-up anything in any way that you desire.
- A stark reminder that in the minds of people responsible for building and delivering systems that differentiating between “XML is unforgiving” and “conventional tools are unforgiving when dealing with XML” is difficult and may appear pedantic.
- That perhaps we should position ourselves as the forgiving XML people. Fact is, MarkLogic ingests XML as it is and then either (1) lets you run queries as powerful as the mark-up you’ve given us, or (2) lets you use XQuery to transform / clean-up your XML over time. (See this post on lazy XML enrichment.)