> From: Leo Lapworth [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
> XML - do it because you need it, not because of the Buzz.

Never was one for following the hype - just trying to work out if it's the
right tool or not.

Part of the problem is probably that I've heard snippets of what XML can
do/is good for, and I've been given these requirements and now I'm trying to
work out if its The Right Way or Not.
> XML is cool for handeling complex (or varied) data and sharing
> this info with others (but if CSV will do, then use that!).

Not sure if CSV will handle it easily...

> I'd suggest it VERY much depends on why you want to use it,
> what is the ASCII data ?

Basically it's the results from a spidering system. The results are put both
into a db and these files (one file per day).

The data will include a ranking score based on the search criteria, URI,
document summary (which will include HTML snippets - although it may not be
properly formed). There may also be some other data that needs to be saved.

CSV is an option - except that an awful lot of the data will need to be
escaped out before it goes into the file, and I would rather only have to do
when its rendered out to the browser.

I could produce my own file format from scratch - and write the tools to
look after it... eg

#SUMMARY#'broken html'</a> bugger"</P>

Or I could use one of the XML modules to help me look after the files.

The data from these files will primarily be diplayed within an HTML page. A
perceived advantage of XML here (for someone who has barely scratched the
surface of what XML can do), is the ability to (relatively) easily take the
XML and spit it out to the browser - and yes I know it's never quite that

I'm also trying to future proof the system slightly - I think that by having
the data XML based it may make it easier to use in new and wonderful ways in
the future, without having to write all the tools from scratch.

> If it was worth putting the data into XML and you were
> worried about the speed of searching, you could always write a 
> script (with one of the _many_ XML:: modules) to slurp keywords 
> or whatever in from the XML so that you can search it in a DB and have
> that point to a file rather than trawling all the XML files
> for every search.

Unfortunately I'm not allowed to make use of the database - it is a
requirement that this particular functionality can cope with the db not
actually being there.

> XML in a Nutshell is a very good book. 

I'll look it up



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