Hi Peter,

Peter Schlumpf wrote:
> What I had in mind for something different is this:  Think of a
> single database of only associations between objects, and nothing
> more than that.

If I'm understanding you correctly, what you have in mind is a
triplestore.  A database for storing purely relationship triples and
nothing else.  A triple is made up of the name of an object, the name of
a type of relationship and a name of another object.  A few example
abstract triples might be:

(The Lord of the Rings, author, J. R. R. Tolkien)
(The Hobbit, sequel, The Lord of The Rings)
(J. R. R. Tolkien, pet, Fido)
(Fido, species, Canis lupus familiaris)
(Canis lupus familiaris, commonName, Dog)


RDF is a particular implementation of this abstract concept, where the
names of both the objects and relationships are URIs.  An RDF
triplestore is a piece of software that stores these relationships and
allows them to be queried flexibly and efficiently (in theory).

> It allows for an interesting extension too -- weighting those
> associations.  Suppose we use it to create a search structure, and
> each time we go from one object referencing another we increment a
> counter for that link by one.

I'm a little confused by this.  What would the use case be?  Are you
talking about a popularity score for each relationship to weight
searches with?