XML size (was: no subject)

Scott Lambert lambert@lambertfam.org
Wed, 3 Apr 2002 21:57:47 -0500

Reply to me or the list, not both.

On Wed, Apr 03, 2002 at 09:09:08PM -0500, Derek Atkins wrote:
> Paul Lussier <plussier@mindspring.com> writes:
> > Everything stated so far has been essentially that it would be
> > "easier to program it this way".  That, IMO, is not a valid reason 
> > for changing it, at least not at this point.  There are more 

In my opinion it is a valid reason.  Making life easier on the
developers allows them more available time to write things like
budgeting and other things for which users are always screaming.

BTW, average users don't use sed.  I know a lot of SysAdmins that can't
use more than the basics of sed.  I didn't say "good SysAdmins".

> The XML datafiles are an order of magnitude larger than they need to
> be, and are certainly an order of magnitude larger than the old binary
> format.  XML is overly verbose.  

Which is why the XML data files compress so well.

> Moving to SQL not only simplifies the programming, it allows us to
> write a simple API for other applications to access Gnucash data
> files.  

Such as a global search and replace applet?  :-)

> It scales.  It will be faster.  It will give a better user
> experience to the vast majority of users (you are clearly the
> exception).

And we don't have to worry about the Gnucash developers introducing a
bug which corrupts the data.  They can wipe the data out but not corrupt
it with an SQL back-end.  I don't know how PostgreSQL dumps their databases
but with MySQL you get the database import/export from/to ascii for free.

You can sed the dump file to your heart's content.  

You could probably RCS the dump files too as a way of keeping track of
what changes you made in a certain session.  Although, I wouldn't mind
seeing a transaction log table that will allow you to put the blame
where it belongs when multiple users are accessing it.  I think that
could be useful in a small, or large, business environment.
> I'm sorry you feel so strongly about this.  I'm glad that you like
> Gnucash so much.  Perhaps what we need to do is implement the features
> that you need so you don't need to edit the data files by hand.

Exactly, and wouldn't that be easier with an SQL back-end?  :-)

Scott Lambert                    KC5MLE                       Unix SysAdmin