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   XML Semantics (was Re: Handling unknown elements?)

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  • From: David Megginson <ak117@freenet.carleton.ca>
  • To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 09:39:36 -0400

Peter Murray-Rust writes:

 > (2) There is no universal generic mechanism for adding semantics to
 > an XML document.

Peter is correct; however, there do exist two mechanisms for
associating parts of an XML document whose semantics are not known
with things whose semantics are (or might be) known.

The namespaces proposal from the W3C XML working group allows
globalisation of element type names and attribute names: that means
that it is possible to know that an element named "p" in one document
type and an element named "p" in another document type share the same
name intentionally.  Any further implications are currently undefined.

Architectural forms, which are an ISO standard, take this idea even
further: with architectural forms, an application can determine that
an element type named "para" in one document type is related to (or
"derived from") an element type named "p" in another document type,
and may make processing assumptions based on the 'a-kind-of'

All the best,


David Megginson                 ak117@freenet.carleton.ca
Microstar Software Ltd.         dmeggins@microstar.com

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