XML size (was: no subject)

Andreas Bogk andreas@andreas.org
07 Apr 2002 12:05:20 +0000

Derek Atkins <warlord@MIT.EDU> writes:

> 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

Then gzip them on the fly.

> format.  XML is overly verbose.  Moreover, the data files SHOULD NOT

"overly verbose" = "human readable".

> be accessed directly by users or other applications...  They should
> use the Gnucash API.

Then they need to learn the Gnucash API, when they already know XSLT
or vi.

> Moving to SQL not only simplifies the programming, it allows us to
> write a simple API for other applications to access Gnucash data
> files.  It scales.  It will be faster.  It will give a better user
> experience to the vast majority of users (you are clearly the
> exception).

For serious business applications, there's no way around using SQL.
If using SQL makes life sufficiently easier so the business features
are done sooner, go make the change.

Still, XML export and import would be great to have, for reasons
probably beaten to death in this thread :).

> 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.

Being able to read and write the data files empowers users.  A friend
of mine is running a small company, and I've shown him Gnucash.
Having the data available as XML was actually a main feature for him,
because he's fluent in XSLT and can whip up an arbitrary report
generator that generates HTML in minutes.


"In my eyes it is never a crime to steal knowledge. It is a good
theft. The pirate of knowledge is a good pirate."
                                                       (Michel Serres)