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   Re: XML API specification

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  • From: Richard Light <richard@light.demon.co.uk>
  • To: Peter Murray-Rust <Peter@ursus.demon.co.uk>
  • Date: Thu, 27 Feb 1997 09:33:10 +0000

In message <4028@ursus.demon.co.uk>, Peter Murray-Rust
<Peter@ursus.demon.co.uk> writes
>On the general strategy, I think that it's important (though difficult) to
>balance the needs of a global approach (using groves, etc.) and something
>that implements PhaseI.  I'd like to argue for a PhaseI tool, partly 
>because most of it is there in pieces, and partly because the rest is
>at the mercy of the final spec.  There will also be some users of XML who 
>are quite happy to stay with PhaseI software for their problems initially
>and move on as they see the need.

I don't claim to have fully grasped the mechanics of _applying_ grove
plans, but isn't the principle that you use them to specify which subset
of the SGML property set you want in your output grove?  If so, can't we
say that our PhaseI requirements are a 'grove plan', then use the
relevant bits of the SGML Property Set as the primitives for our 'data
structure' API?

Does the SGML Property Set contains all the data constructs and
properties we are interested in from an XML perspective?

I'm not suggesting that the structures and their properties should be
expressed as in the DSSSL standard (Section 9.6 - horrendous!), but if
that section of DSSSL contains a complete description of all the
concepts we want in the XML API, we simply have the job of re-expressing
them in a different notation.  This could even be reduced to a
mechanical process.

That is _much_ easier than re-inventing them all.  It also means that we
have a painless method of extending the API: we simply add to our grove
plan and pull in the extra concepts.  It also aligns the XML API as a
practicable implenetation of a (useful!) subset of the standard SGML
Property Set.

Richard Light
SGML and Museum Information Consultancy
3 Midfields Walk 
Burgess Hill
West Sussex RH15 8JA
tel. (44) 1444 232067

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