More integration between WinFS and XML

Jon Udell of Infoworld says in his blog:

Meanwhile I’ve been working on a story about Longhorn, for which I had long and an extremely interesting interview with Quentin Clark, the architect of director of program management for WinFS. I’d like to transcribe the whole thing to post along with the story, when it runs, but the upshot is that Microsoft is planning more and better integration between WinFS and XML — both in terms of data definition and query — than I’d previously heard, which is welcome news

I’m pleased too because it means we are one step closer to the vision of WinFS that I have been talking about in my blog.  Complementary and not competetive to the web.

He then goes on to talk about the different types of search experience:

It seems clear, though, that whatever can be accomplished by means of what I’ve come to call “managed metadata,” we’ll always want that Google effect to be happening in parallel. When asked about the Semantic Web and RDF at InfoWorld’s 2002 CTO Forum, Sergey Brin said:

Look, putting angle brackets around things is not a technology, by itself. I’d rather make progress by having computers understand what humans write, than by forcing humans to write in ways computers can understand.

From my perspective, this isn’t an either/or choice. I’d rather make progress by having computers understand what people write and by helping people to write in ways that computers can understand. What’s more, I’d like to construe “writing in ways that computers can understand” as a problem for which hybrid SQL/XML technology is a solution. When managed metadata exists, or can be acquired, purely relational query will be powerful. When metadata is implicitly present, for example in XML fragments, XPath and XQuery can leverage it. The combination of relational, XML, and free-text search is the best of all worlds. As I’ve mentioned before, by the way, Kingsley Idehen has been demonstrating this for several years.

I agree but I don’t think its a suprise to anyone that “The combination of relational, XML, and free-text search is the best of all worlds” and its my understanding that that’s what MS is trying to achieve with WinFS, but the trick is that they are capturing as much of that relational and XML information automatically or transparently as people go about working with their emails, contacts, calendars, office documents etc.

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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