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   RE: XSD: Proposed Goals

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  • From: "Simon St.Laurent" <SimonStL@classic.msn.com>
  • To: "Xml-Dev (E-mail)" <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Tue, 26 May 98 12:06:32 UT

Tim Bray wrote:

>I should point out that XSD is different from SAX in that it was pretty clear
>that no W3C or other body was going to get into the stream-oriented API 
>business.  Thus SAX was unclaimed territory.  The schema picture is 
>it is near-certain that the XML WG or some other W3C organ *is* going to,
>before too long, start emitting working drafts for some sort of a schema
>That said, I think the discussions you are having (in particular Paul
>Prescod's manifesto of a couple of days ago) are tremendously useful.

And Jon Bosak announced:

>The only further information I can add to that is that the XML WG is
>working on a briefing package that will request the W3C Director to
>include the following in our charter for the coming year or so:
>   Specify DTD schemas
>     Add features to DTD functionality (in particular, data typing
>       and inheritance)
>     Use instance syntax

XSD is not operating in completely 'unclaimed' territory; rather, this is 
borderlands on the edge of a sparsely settled frontier.  Developers who work 
in this territory run the risk of eviction when the real government arrives to 
establish some law and order.  There isn't much point in claiming the 
territory, writing up deeds, and preparing to defend it.

Fortunately, the point isn't defending the territory, it's making the 
territory a better place to be.  Improving the territory, laying down some 
basic infrastructure for further development, and encouraging others to move 
here.  When the government shows up, we can hand them what we've built, wish 
them the best, and hope the territory develops well.

It appears that the XML WG is definitely preparing to move into this area, 
eventually.  I think we can still make a contribution by building a _simple_ 
system, testing its implementations, and reporting on the results.  If we're 
lucky, the WG will use some of it; if we're not, perhaps we'll have pointed 
out some routes to avoid.

I'd like to see the syntax completed by the end of June - a much tighter 
timeframe than the usual deliberations.  By keeping it simple and tightly 
focused, I think we stand a good chance of completing at least one round of 
this before the WG gets started.  Hopefully the discussions (and perhaps even 
implementations) produced by this proposal will be of use to the XML WG.  I 
hope strongly that this proposal will be seen as contributing, not competing.

In the end, whatever the WG produces, I don't think it'll be too hard to write 
a conversion package mapping this system to their system.  Though this 
proposal may be somewhat experimental, I still think that, as Tim Bray put it, 
"the discussions you are having (in particular Paul Prescod's manifesto of a 
couple of days ago) are tremendously useful."

Simon St.Laurent
Dynamic HTML: A Primer / XML: A Primer / Cookies

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