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Subject: Re: [FrameSGML] Re: Database-Style Queries in structured FM
From: DW Emory <danemory@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2004 10:37:08 -0800
--- In FrameSGML@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, DW Emory <danemory@xxxx> wrote: > The most fundamental advantage of structured documents is the ability to > parse them into their constituent components for storage in a relational or > object-oriented database, where complex queries can be issued to retrieve, > and or modify, selected data. > > But a structured FrameMaker document or book is also a searchable database > which could be searched using queries similar to those used in a database.
While I disagree partially (but not completely) with your search/set scripting proposal, I agree 100% with your opening statements. I think you are right on track with your assessment of a structured FM document as a searchable database. And, as you allude to, the only limitations of this "database" is your ability to query and manage data. Unfortunately, though, these limitations are critical, and really prevents you from using a doc as a database. But you know this... hence the proposals/requests in your post.
Structural metadata in an FM file is as parsable and manageable as any text markup format... we've shown that somewhat with our recently- released Sourcerer plugin. But I'm not writing to plug Sourcerer... I just think it is a good example of the possibilities of metadata within structured Frame, without ever having to leave Frame. I'm surprised that there isn't more progress in this direction already, because in many cases, it is so much easier to manage content right in front of you, in a WYSIWYG environment, rather than using middleman tools like databases or XML/XSLT. Now, I don't mean to bash these tools... they are indispensible and certainly have their place. I do think, though, that they may be a bit of overkill for certain needs, but they get used because they are the only choice. But, I also believe that this is only because Frame hasn't been taught to do the things you have identified.
There is work ongoing in this direction, and I'd encourage you to stay tuned. For now, I'd just like to commend your forward vision... it is envigorating to see people thinking outside the box. We've disagreed in the past about methodology, and maybe always will, but I think that theoretically you are on the right path, and eventually more people will begin to understand and accept where you are coming from.
FrameMaker/FrameMaker+SGML Document Design & Database Publishing DW Emory <danemory@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
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