[FoRK] Now with magic pixie dust!

Meltsner, Kenneth Kenneth.Meltsner at ca.com
Fri May 21 12:09:58 PDT 2004

It's hard to take seriously companies that allow their PR reps to make
statements like this:

"Tarari's purpose-built silicon for XML processing is enabled by a core
technology called a Simultaneous XPath engine which produces results
directly from the input XML document, whereas DOM or SAX-based systems
need to create an in-memory representation of the document. RAX may be
proposed as an industry standard."

Pray tell, how does it do it without putting a representation of the XML
document into some sort of memory?  Or does it read a hard disk by touch
using some sort of magnetic Braille encoding?

Michael Leventhal has been around long enough (judging from his
participation in the XML community) to know better, so I'm going to
blame it on the suits.

Ken Meltsner

>From xml.coverpages.org:

XML Silicon: The Tarari Random Access XML (RAX) Content Processor. 

Tarari Inc. recently announced the availability of its RAX Content
Processor which can "easily process millions of XPaths per second." The
Random Access XML Content Processor solution was demonstrated at the
NetWorld+Interop Las Vegas 2004 event, and represents the latest
technology achievement in hardware-accelerated XML processing.

Tarari's purpose-built silicon for XML processing is enabled by a core
technology called a Simultaneous XPath engine which "produces results
directly from the input XML document, whereas DOM or SAX-based systems
need to create an in-memory representation of the document."

According to personal communication and a white paper authored by
Michael Leventhal, Simultaneous XPath "is vastly faster than any
software-based XPath engines (e.g., Saxon, Xalan, libxml) because its
performance is insensitive to the number of XPaths in an evaluation
group and the complexity of the XPath expressions. Simultaneous XPath
handles XML namespaces and namespace prefixing on the fly without
pre-scanning and declaration of prefixes; its execution time increases
linearly with the file size, without any performance degradation and
without memory thrashing."

Random Access XML (RAX) "represents a breakthrough in accelerating and
simplifying XML processing. Using XPaths as indices, RAX gives
applications direct access to any data within an XML message without
parsing and without tree or streaming traversal. RAX can be used for any
XML application that would traditionally be handled by DOM, SAX, JAXB,
BEA's XMLBeans, or any other approach. It enables network switch,
server, blade, and appliance vendors to create a variety of new
applications such as gigabit message classification and routing, high
transaction rate publish and subscribe systems, advanced SOAP message
processing, high performance XML security firewalls and real-time
telecommunications billing solutions."

The Tarari RAX Content Processor hardware device "sits on a 4.2Gbps PCI
bus, communicating with main memory through multiple and interleaved DMA
channels; this standard PCI card into servers, appliances, and network
devices to allow control and inspection of complete messages. The
complete Tarari technology solution includes acceleration of XML
security, XML compression, and Unicode character conversion."

Tarari participated in W3C's September 2003 Binary XML Workshop, and is
currently studying how to propose RAX as an industry standard.

Bibliographic Information 

RAX: Random Access XML. Fundamentally Changing How XML is Used and
Processed. A Tarari White Paper. Prepared by Michael Leventhal. 30
pages. Presents an analysis of a new approach to XML processing.

XML Binary Infosets: Position Paper from Tarari. Presented at the W3C
Workshop on Binary Interchange of XML Information Item Sets. September
24-26, 2003, Santa Clara, California, USA. Prepared by Eric Lemoine (XML
Architect) and Michael Leventhal (Director of XML Products).

Tarari RAX Content Processor Fact Sheet. May 2004. 2 pages

Tarari RAX Content Processor (RAX-CP) Product Brief. May 2004. 2 pages.

Overview: Random Access XML (RAX) Content Processor 

"RAX provides direct access to the data your application needs with
near-zero parsing and other processing overhead. You identify the data
you need through a set of XPaths and RAX indices into the source
document for each matched XPath node. The processing that accomplishes
this is done by Tarari's RAX Content Processor, a device which snaps
into the server or appliance's standard PCI slot. Not only is the Tarari
XML hardware much faster than software, but it also leaves the CPU free
for other tasks. Your XML application can use the XPath node results
directly or further traverse the document using the XPath indices as
short-cut access points.

The Tarari RAX Content Processor offers Java and C Language APIs for
Random Access XML, Simultaneous XPath, SOAP Processing, Streaming XML
Transformation, and SSL and XML Security - RSA, 3DES, SHA1, RNG with
JCE/JSEE and Open SSL integration.

The Tarari RAX Content Processor resides on a plug and play PCI card
which snaps into networking equipment, servers and appliances, and is
configured with W3C standards-based XPath expressions, and offers a full
API for complex message filtering and transformation.

OEMs and ISVs can immediately implement powerful XML-based solutions
that work at gigabit speeds by simply upgrading existing equipment with
Tarari's PCI-based processor; future designs can also take advantage of
Tarari's single piece of silicon..." [excerpted from the White Paper and
Product Brief]

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