[LINK] XML is evil

Rick Welykochy rick at praxis.com.au
Thu Nov 20 17:26:47 AEDT 2008

Marghanita da Cruz wrote:

> The reuse and maintenance of accurate information in a real time environment
> makes the argument for XML compelling - and there seem to be workshops around
> working on various schemas. I was hoping the NLA would have something but it
> seems their interest is in  the library catalog entry for the exhibition catalog.
> Any pointers on xml standarisation activities in theses two areas welcome

I am working on Koha (koha.org) library projects. In version 3.0 the
project has moved towards using XML-MARC, which is an XML standard
for MARC21/US library data.

What I liked about the old way we stored MARC data: it was in "flat"
format stored in table columns. Easy to search, easy to index. And
easy to import/export using CSV.

Now with XML-MARC, the entire library record is stored in one
monolithic blob in MySQL. Difficult to index and difficult to
search. The reason: they are adapting to using the Zebra indexing
engine which utilises the MARC format.

The side effect of the obsession with XMLising what was once flat
and easy to access data is that Zebra is heaps slower and searching
and indexing and requires its own daemon to be running alongside Apache.

So more complexity has gained us what? Slower lookups, slower
indexing and another daemon to maintain.

Nonetheless, you may be interested in googling for this new format
for MARC data.


Rick Welykochy || Praxis Services

Tis the dream of each programmer before his life is done,
To write three lines of APL and make the damn thing run.

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