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>>>I think that we can skip the "syntax neutral" <<<

Not so fast.

There are another two reasons to go the syntax neutral appraoach first and
leave the development of the DTD until a little bit later:
1. We will postpone (we can't avoid) the religous wars over where we use
elements and where we use attributes, and how we name things, for example do
we have "<MessageHeader>, <MsgHdr>, <message.header>, <messageHeader> or
some other permutation you can think of
2. It will force us to focus on analysis and design before we get to coding
... how often do you see a DTD that has no documentation and you are left to
**infer** the meaning of an element or attribute from its name only.

I think actually that the first point on use of names in an XML style thing
and wouldn't it be nice if there was an ebXML "style guide" for writing XML,
or does someone know a good one we could consider adopting

PS perhaps I'm starting the "religous war" by raising this issue now ... ;-)

-----Original Message-----
From: Christopher Ferris [mailto:chris.ferris@east.sun.com]
Sent: Monday, March 06, 2000 6:34 AM
To: David Burdett
Cc: David RR Webber; Dave Hollander; [unknown]; [unknown]


I think that we can skip the "syntax neutral" aspect and use DTD for now.
exist tools to assist in the mapping of DTD's to Schema (albeit other schema
such as SOX and XDR) and I'm confident that there will be tools to do the
the formal W3C Schema recommendation once it is approved.

I think that it is key that we go with what we've got and not be dependent
that which isn't ready for prime time.

One of the key drivers for ebXML is lowering the barriers to entry for the
"little guy"
which means that (IMHO) we need to provide standards which can be

implemented using readily (and inexpensively!) available tools and

Everyone has access to validating XML parsers (SAX and/or DOM) today. Many

free. One cannot say the same for W3C Schema processors.

Any cycles spent on selecting (or worse yet, inventing) some "syntax
language will be lost towards the actual work required of this group, the
actual definition of (at least)
the 3 key deliverables you yourself suggested in a previous email.


David Burdett wrote:

> David says ...
> >>>I'm very happy with 4 to 6 months [for W3C schema], seeing this meshes
> well with the ebXML timetable<<<
> I think that we can completely separate any dependency between the schema
> recommendation and our work if:
> 1. We specify the data requirements and structure of any message headers,
> envelopes etc, in a way that is "syntax neutral", ie. we define a
> hierachical structure of field names and descriptions where all the field
> names are expressed in natural english or short phrases.
> 2. We map the hierachical structure to relevent XML definition languages
> specifically a DTD and a W3C Schema if it's available and judged
> sufficiently stable.
> Thoughts?
> David

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