[nycphp-talk] XML Manipulation

Elliotte Harold elharo at
Sat Aug 18 07:36:30 EDT 2007

Mark Armendariz wrote:

> Nested-set grows rather hairy in no time, especially with data that 
> needs to be changed often.  After some reading (thanks to Elliotte's 
> compass - thank you sir), it seems to me XML could definitely prove a 
> better means of tracking hierarchal information, which especially 
> includes threaded conversation.  It seems to me that flattening tree 
> data is far easier than branching flat data (and meta fields in my rel 
> db makes me queasy).

That's certainly true. The performance issues are also real though. What 
you need is the best of both worlds: a database that stores XML. Neither 
a SQL database nor XML in a file system is optimal for this problem. Of 
course, you can make both work and people have indeed done so, but why 
not get the best of both worlds?

The problem is this essentially a current research project. While both 
XMl and SQL are proven technologies, using a native XML database 
integrated with PHP would be blazing new territory. You need to decide 
whether you're ready to take on that task or not.

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

More information about the talk mailing list