"If you're reading this and thinking "all he's saying is that lucene is useful for indexing xml fragments," you're halfway there. And If you're an XML lunatic who then says "Hey! Wow! And the world, in its entirety, is entirely composed of XML (or possibly RDF) fragments," then you've gone way too far. What I know is that the world is mostly made up of semi-structured data and I know that database schemas often evolve at a ferocious rate because, when we impose more structure, we often get it wrong.
And so now what I'm wondering is if I was completely off base in 1997. That is, I'm wondering if Moore's law really says that relational databases are going to become vastly less important over time, because for most applications there's a less-structured (and less efficient) way to do things that's more convenient for the programmers."
Whither (wither) the Relational Database
Well, being a Semantic Web blogger I'd have to say that the relational model, as it is applied in RDF, is only going to increase in usage not decrease. Things like JDBM (used for the backend of LDAPd) and hopefully TKS will become increasingly commoditized into being just something you throw in like logging.