Subject: RE: Tag Languages, UID's etc.
Hi Bob, Just wanted to assure you that we on the ebXML Core Components team have done more than pay lip service to UIDs. Some of us see that as the way to make sure that what we develop is syntax neutral, one of our major goals. Language neutrality is also a result. Mary Kay -----Original Message----- From: Miller, Robert (GXS) [mailto:Robert.Miller@gxs.ge.com] Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2001 1:39 PM To: ebXML Core Subject: Tag Languages, UID's etc. Gentle People, As has been noted a few times now, the UID is intended to lead to a wealth of semantic information regarding the associated element, regardless of specific tag name. Yet we properly worry about providing some set of (Oxford) English tag names, since our specifications include XML definitions. (Sadly, these ebXML specifications DO NOT provide UID's for these tags, or even account for UID in the DTD's) It seems our ebXML teams think in terms of elements defined by specific XML DTD's and Schemas, instead of thinking in terms of 'semantic entities'. And little (if any) thought has been given to how the semantic information presmably pointed to by the UID is to be represented. Had we been through that exercise, we would have hopefully recognized that an XML DTD or Schema in our documentation (e.g., the XML Header of an ebXML transport envelope) was simply the end result of generation of a DTD or Schema for the 'business model' that represents that header document, with the target language for the DTD/Schema tags set to English. Assuming the metadata included tag name defintions in French, we could just as easily generate a DTD/Schema for a the XML Header in French. Furthermore, I would expect a conforming ebXML processor of ebXML Header messages to accept and handle both the English and the French versions of the XML header interchangeably. That is, the processor would ignore the tag names, and instead perform its processing tasks based upon the UID's associated withthe tag names. And of course, I would expect ebXML applications to do likewise. My English based purchase order application should not care whether the tags names are in English, French, UID-ease, or whatever. Naturally, existing ebXML POC processors have hard coded tag name recognition, since that's all they have to work with at this time. Were such implementations subjected to an ebXML confromance test, I would expect them to encounter a non-English tag set and thereby fail conformance certification. Even though ebXML has given no more than lip-service attention to UID's to date, ebXML applications and support software can conform, even if the UID's are nothing more than placeholders for the semantic information. They just need to ignore the tags, and pay attention instead to the UID's those tags expose. Cheers, Bob Miller Cheers, Bob
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