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   Re: It's time for practical XML!

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  • From: Peter Murray-Rust <peter@ursus.demon.co.uk>
  • To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Wed, 07 Oct 1998 12:56:51

At 14:02 06/10/98 +0200, Ron Bourret wrote:
>It has always been my hope that XSchema would help speed up, rather than
>the standards process by gathering and formalizing a large amount of input
>in the process.  (Of course, my motivation for helping in the project was
not to 
>forward standards, but simply to develop a simple schema language that I
>use right now.)

I fully agree. And I support and applaud Ron and others for their effort on
XSchema. When we  were at the same stage with SAX there were a few voices
who said it was unnecessary/too_simple etc. XSchema does a precise and
workable job at present - encapsulating the semantics of a DTD in XML
syntax **through an open process**. This means that it is highly unlikely
that there are serious bugs or other problems. The question is whether it's

My own take is that it's important:
	- as a learning exercise
	- as a prototype on which applications can build
	- as something which is more important than might have been realised at
the start
	- as an important intermediate step in the development of more ambitious
schemas. Whether XSchema is at the core of these, history will decide.

>This latter leads me to believe (rather naively, no doubt) that the W3C 
>committee working on a schema language (assuming it exists) could simply
>in one-from-column-A-two-from-column-B fashion, from the following areas and 
>mold it into a common whole:

[... list snipped...]

I think the key thing is to get it actually deployed and see who finds it
useful for what :-). The lesson I am learning very strongly from the last
few months is that it's much easier to imagine what you would like to do
than to write interoperable code to make it happen. Therefore I always
always rant on about things being simple. XSchema is about as simple as you
can get without seriously losing DTD functionality. Ron and others are
clear that code can be written for it. [I am yet to be convinced that
*interoperable* code will be written for DCD or RDF - i.e. it may work in
one manufacturer's environment but will there be freely available

BTW Is XSchema finally released and frozen? Make a splash about it.

>Of course, it was naivete that led me to spend a good part of the summer on 
>XSchema, so who am I to say?  Still, it would be nice...

No - it wasn't - any more that it was naive for the others who have hacked
code and contributed to specs.

What I would like is some *formal* way of getting 'academic' credit for
these works. SAX, XSchema, are worthy of formal peer-review. I would be
happy to explore XML-DEV as a mechanism for this, but others might want
'safe' publication formats (i.e. paper journals).


>-- Ron Bourret
>xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
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>List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa@ic.ac.uk)
Peter Murray-Rust, Director Virtual School of Molecular Sciences, domestic
net connection
VSMS http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/vsms, Virtual Hyperglossary

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