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Paper: XML Data in the Virtual Observatory
Volume: 347, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XIV
Page: 223
Authors: Mann, R.G.; Baxter, R.M.; Carroll, R.; Wen, Q.; Buneman, O.P.; Choi, B.; Fan, W.; Hutchison, R.W.O.; Viglas, S.D.
Abstract: XML is the lingua franca of the Web services world and so will play a major role in the construction of the Virtual Observatory. Its great advantages are its flexibility, platform-independence, ease of transformation, and the wide variety of existing software that can process it. An obvious disadvantage in its use as an astronomical data format is its verbosity; the number of bytes taken up writing the XML tags can easily outnumber those constituting the actual astronomical data. The verbosity of XML in this regard is a problem in many other disciplines, and computer scientists are developing more generic solutions to that found in the VOTable specification. In this paper we describe two of these projects currently underway in Edinburgh, which focus on the compression and querying of XML, and a technology for representing the structure of a binary file in XML, enabling it to be read as if it were XML.
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