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Subject: Re: W3C Schema Work Machinations.
Bruce, Your laser vision is functioning with its usual high level of perception. Here is indeed the heart of this whole matter. How to create mechanisms that support simple inituitive usage without a high learning curve on the front-end, while also providing a rich depth and breadth for those partners who need extended functionality. I believe we have demonstrated some significant capabilities in this area with eDTD and Bizcodes, and Martin Bryan's Syntax Neutral paper. Right now the need is to blend these and pick some approaches that can lead the way forward. Just recently I did some work on a power industry billing schema. When you sit down and create real world examples all these issues are immediately apparent and central - how do you craft syntax that is simple to use, self-corrective, (a key feature of systems like Prolog, but absent in C++), and interoperable and with a simple adoption curve from existing database models? I don't think the issue is one of documents v data. The power billing schema had a high degree of presentational content in the fancy printed format. The future also tells us that the document will be the data as systems transition to XML as the base format. BUT the issue is one of business information v open lightly structured document content. That will change - because a document must become information centric. Anyway - this said - what we're looking at here is that by getting it right from the data perspective, the documents definitions will work fine as a side-effect. You can see this today already in products like XMetal which have a very high degree of compliance and structural validation checking in them, compared to say IE5.0 which is wildly lax. So documents with data created in XMetal are going to be much more 'automated-processing' friendly by definition. Hope this all makes sense!? Your last point then emphasizes this even more - can I go 'round-trip' - edit in XMetal, open in MS Word or IE5.0? Answer right now is an emphatic NO! Not unless you spend alot of programming time yourself fixing holes. And this is just with the "simple" DTD and XML V1.0 spec's!!! Clearly, we have to understand very well here where the minefield is, and how to steer a safe path to the secure intuitive future we all seek. Thanks, DW. ======================================================================= Message text written by "Bruce Peat" > SNIP In your opinion, does it make sense to have a minimium 'base' XML Schema and then have two extensions; document & data? Or are your envisioning more with 'a hierarchy of representational levels'? This approach I think would be accepted with open arms in the community. For a recommendation with a larger scope and without proper constraints for exchange would force a subset of the specification to be used in industry and will keep the various non-interoperable implementions on other critical items. IMHO: The W3C decision here could either save or cost industry billions of dollars over the next few years. - Bruce <
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