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   Re: XSD: Proposed Goals

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  • From: Paul Prescod <papresco@technologist.com>
  • To: "Xml-Dev (E-mail)" <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 15:59:40 -0400

Simon St.Laurent wrote:
> John Simpson pointed out:
> >I'm thinking especially of the poor soul who comes upon the Structure
> >Definition Document SDD months from now, and does a hypermail search on the
> >acronym. Result set would include a lot of stuff from past months that has
> >to do with the OTHER SDD -- particularly the debate about whether it's
> >needed or even useful at all.

The other SDD isn't in the XML spec. and informal testing suggests that it
is lost even to the search engines. Things move fast on the Web.

> It brings schema back in... I can probably live with that here. Can other
> people?

People seem to think that the word schema has some technical meaning that
I do not think it has. A schema is a document that describes the structure
of some other thing (in this case, another document).

> I like XSchema, but am a little worried about what it implies.  Coming from the 
> database world, a schema to me means not only structure, but also data types, 
> field length, privileges, keys, etc., which do not seem to be in our initial 
> charter, although they might be in a later one.

Database schemata are a particular kind of schema. Electronics schemata
are another. We intend to develop yet another. I don't think that those
other kinds of schemata need to determine what our goals are.

As long as we are consistent in using the words "XSchema" I don't think
that there is any danger of confusion with the word "schema" as it is used
more widely (e.g. in the namespace specification), or with any other
particular schema language.

I think that "XSchema" is catchy, precise and otherwise a good name. It
may actually be more precise than "structure definition", because I'm not
sure if we are actually defining structures as much as *describing* or
*constraining* them.

 Paul Prescod  - http://itrc.uwaterloo.ca/~papresco

Three things to be wary of: A new kid in his prime
A man who knows the answers, and code that runs first time

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