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Subject: describing fire-rescue actions in xml
From: Karol Krenski <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Karol Krenski <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 29 Dec 2007 11:29:30 +0100
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Hi list,

I am doing a scientific research for my Phd thesis. The idea is to
describe fire-rescue operations in a computer-friendly form. My first
idea was to create a new language and XML came immediately to my mind as
the language allowing for description of any domain. Last few months I
was learning about XML, RelaxNG and XSLT technologies. The more I am
into it, the more doubt arises about choosing the right tools for the
task. 

The XML power may come from its ability to exchange documents among
different organizations, which haven't stuck to a common standard. But
the National Fire Service will not exchange their documents with outside
world and can easily agree on one standard - the standard may be
specified by some headquarters department. 

The National Fire Service works in computer network environment. Then
the alternative is to use a relational database and create the language
using database schemas. This would additionaly allow for faster queries
if the data would feed the decission support system (which is not my
main focus). But the big question is 'do database schemas are as much
descriptive as XML'? I know nothing about databases and certainly don't
have the big picture of existing technologies and their applications. 

I would much prefer to use XML - I am already familiar with it and
researched XML's applications: SVG and MathMl. What I am really looking
for is the arguments in XML vs relational databases in favour of the
first one. Could I please ask you for a comment? 

Thanks in advance and regards,
Karol

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