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Subject: Fw: Are we losing out because of grammars?

The following message from the xml-dev group seems very germaine to this
group's work.

Martin Bryan

----- Original Message -----
From: "Sean McGrath" <sean@digitome.com>
Sent: 7 February 2001 13:33
Subject: Re: Are we losing out because of grammars?

> Single models (monolithic) fail in the real world not in the theoretical
> world.
> In theory, people in a smoke filled room can agree a top-down
> model of data interchange. In practice, the cannot. In theory, developers
> can manage the state-space explosion inherent in processing
> monolithic content models but in practice they cannot.
> I think the mantra that "content + presentation == document" is part
> of the problem.
> In reality there are two main sub-divisions of "content":
>          "semantics + aggregation + presentation == document"
> Agreeing semantic elements (invoice, voltage, footnote) is far more
> politically/technically feasible than agreeing aggregation elements
> TV set, Technical Manual).
> Moreover, I think a multi-dimensional XML modelling technique
> in which the *expression* of the aggregation is itself an XML
> instance, it a powerful and general modelling approach worthy
> of consideration in many contexts.
> There are a number of analogies. All are useful to some degree
> but break down if you push them too far...
> Polymorphism - a containership model in which the type of the
> things contained is not relevant.
> Merchant Shipping - what has standardized? The design of
> the ship or the design of the containers loaded on to the ships
> and subsequently transported by truck/rail?
> Bottom Up Analysis - start by modelling the component units
> of a system and work upwards towards ways of agregating
> them together.
> Tupperware (tm) - A containership model in which content and
> containers can be intermixed. The contents of the containers
> is never modelled in the outer container(s).
> regards,

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