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On Wed, 2003-11-05 at 06:40, Bruce D'Arcus wrote:
> I sent a note to Corey, but maybe this ought to go to the list too.
>
> I've been testing v3 of MODS to enter references, and have been struck
> with the observation that it would make my life a lot easier to make
> extensive use of links.  For example, why not have separate xml files
> that store names and publishers?

This is just my opinion, but I would say that within your own database
or application you can really do what you want. The only time you need
to stay within the strict rules of MODS is when you are conveying
documents that declare themselves as MODS documents to another system.

I have a caution about linking, however. Although linking is purely
rational from a human standpoint (eliminates some redundancy, nicely
separates certain data elements into files of their own where every item
is of the same type, etc.), at some point linking will come into
conflict with efficiency for processing the data. So creating displays
where documents have to be "re-composed" from linked parts, or indexing
a file and getting the linked-in elements indexed in relation to
documents... all of this takes a bit longer than when you have all of
the data in the same document. For a small file this may not have a
visible impact; as a file or database grows, the links could slow things
down. So it's always a trade-off (we used to call it "space vs. time"
when in the database design phase).
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Karen Coyle
Digital Library Specialist
http://www.kcoyle.net
Ph: 510-540-7596 Fax: 510-848-3913
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