One of the fun things about Mark Logic is that we unite people from different computing backgrounds: database people, search engine people, content management people, the odd computational linguistics person, and — of course — document/XML people.
Aside: one of my big theses of computing life is that individuals tend to stovepipe into a single computing camp early on, fail to cross-breed / cross-read, and thus the camps end up quite in-bred and incommunicado over time. That’s one reason why I deliberately “jumped camps” in leaving Business Objects four years ago, hopping from BI into unstructured data / content / documents / XML.
But I digress.
We recently hired Norm Walsh, a pretty big guy in the document camp, which elicited comments such as the following from his fellow camp members:
I’m wondering how in the hell some obscure “XQuery Content” company stole Norm Walsh away from Sun. […] Anyone care to provide some insight? Is Mark Logic really *that* good?
That was fun.
But what’s been even more fun is helping someone who is clearly a distinguished individual in one camp and introducing him to another. Towards that end, I’m happy to report that Norm is now officially certified in what I call rule 1 of database performance: push constraints to data, don’t move data to constraints.
Believe it or not, rule 1 appears quite counter-intuitive to document people who seem to innately want to materialize DOM trees and then process them in a middle tier.
Because I’m so wed to the database viewpoint, I have trouble expressing it in a document-person way. That’s why I’m happy that Norm has recounted his journey here, in a post entitled Thinking Differently about XML.