Now that all the fun and games of learning Rails has almost sunk
in it’s time to build something useful. I am tasked with building a
system to control and search our large (and I mean large 1.5 million +
growing) photograph collection. I have been building databases for
and after thinking about the situation we decided that trying to store
information about individual photos in a relational system is
to say the least (the number of one-to-many as well as many-many
would make it a real headache to manage). XML to the rescue. We could
really simplify things by creating an XML record for each photo (we will
be using modified Dublin Core www.dublincore.org for fields and
descriptions). We have tried and failed to get a relational system to
work well - too many “what if’s” and exceptions to the rules to deal
using a relation system.
Since this is the Rails mailing list you can assume that I would like to
do this using Rails. However, searching high a low I cannot find a
starting point for a storage and retrieval method using Rails and XML
data. Searching this list I see that the eXist project has been
and I think this is the way to go (soon MySQL will have the ability to
store and query XML - but it’s not there yet). Since Ruby and Rails is
fairly new to me any pointers about conversing with eXist or any other
storage solution (XML-RPC? REST? never used these so go easy) would be
greatly appreciated, also any tips or pointers about building the XML
would also be helpful. Builder seems to be best and easiest method -
how to get it from builder to the database - aye there’s the rub.
Once this is all figured out it could become a very powerful method for
storing and retrieving data - one XPath or XQuery and all is yours. No
more fiddling with relations and so on - just where to start.
Thanks for any help or pointers… Cheers.
P.S. I have, for development purposes, thought about building the XML
storing it in a MySQL field (the whole record is an XML document) - I am
not worried about the searching at the moment (but I could build queries
to violently rip out what I needed using regex - slow but it would
But how would I build the XML from a form and slap the whole thing into
MySQL - sorry different issue than above, but again any help for this
(hopefully) temporary solution would again be greatly appreciate.
New Media Officer / Agent des nouveaux mÃ©dias
Canada Aviation Museum / MusÃ©e de l’aviation du Canada
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