XML vs. rel DBs [was: Re: [nycphp-talk] Many pages: one script]

Elliotte Harold elharo at
Wed Aug 8 20:31:45 EDT 2007

Jeremy Mcentire wrote:

> Not to mention that the utility of XML is not simply inherent in it's 
> being small.  No one is claiming that it is small.  But, there is 
> utility there that makes it worth the size.  There is always a 
> tradeoff.  To complain about XML because it takes more characters to 
> store data or lays it out in a manner that isn't the same old RDBM isn't 
> valid.  I'd entertain it if I thought you wrote code in a binary format 
> the machine understands natively.  I don't think you do.  All that 
> wasted white-space... for shame.

Of course, one advantage of an XML database is that there are no rules 
about what the actual disk format looks like. What matters is what goes 
ion and what comes out. Databases are free to make optimizations for 
both storage space and speed, and in practice most do. The disk format 
is no more relevant to the XQuery data model than it is to the SQL data 
model. Storing a million documents in an XML database may well take a 
lot less space than storing them in individual files.

Elliotte Rusty Harold  elharo at
Java I/O 2nd Edition Just Published!

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