Noel Cross noelc at OEB.HARVARD.EDU
Fri Dec 3 10:37:16 CET 1999

On Thu, 2 Dec 1999, Kevin Thiele wrote:

> Over the past couple of days I've partially implemented an export function
> to produce Leigh's XDELTA documents (as a simple example of a possible XML
> format) for the data in Lucid keys. I have a key to families of flowering
> plants of Australia (240 taxa, 166 characters, 600 states). The data I'm
> using are simple - basically a score matrix, a list of taxa and a list of
> characters. The file sizes in three formats for these data are:
> LucID    166 kb
> DELTA    240 kb
> XML      c3  Mb
> And this is only the most basic XML!.

By comparing three different encodings of a particular data set, I think
that Kevin has given us a very graphic demonstration of the potential
verbosity of an XML specification for descriptive data.  This is
definitely a syntactic issues that we'll need to address, even as we
try to characterize the semantics of what it is that we need to encode.

For this reason, I would suggest that examples giving in XML should not
imply that we'll end up actually using XML as the recommended syntactic
encoding of descriptive data, and that indeed no decision has been made
on this matter.

-Noel Cross

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