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   RE: What a tangled web!!! XML and related specs

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  • From: David Megginson <david@megginson.com>
  • To: "Xml-Dev (E-mail)" <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999 06:54:29 -0500 (EST)

Serrat Jaime - jasr writes:

 > I will ignore Notes, as you suggest since I am NOT doing cutting
 > edge stuff, and SAX (I don't need event-based processing).  I do,
 > however, want to exchange metadata, so in addition to the base XML
 > spec, it appears that I need to be familiar with Namespaces, DOM
 > level 1 (which apparently does NOT support Namespaces; coming in
 > DOM 2, maybe?) and RDF.  If that's right, it's a reasonable enough
 > roadmap for the time being.

Actually, people are doing namespaces with DOM level 1 right now, but
it's a bit controversial.  What they do is simply mangle the names
before they build the DOM tree, so that

  <a xmlns="http://www.foo.com/ns/default/">

comes through as a DOM Element with the name
"http://www.foo.com/ns/default/ a" or something like that.  Many
people on the DOM IG list believe that that's non-conformant, but it
does happen to work fairly well for basic (i.e. most) applications.

I put some caveats about RDF in my original message because, while it
has a fairly simply (though not-fully-specified) data model, the
number of syntactic variants permitted is so mind-numbing that we've
had only a couple of toy demo implementations so far, despite the fact 
that RDF is exactly the kind of thing my customers want and need right 

 > But I'm still left wondering about the schema related proposals.
 > NOTE or not, no pun, did the SOX submitters intend it to supercede
 > DTD?  Was RDF (and DCD?) meant to *extend* DTD?  I guess I'm
 > wondering about the *direction* of the schema proposals, without
 > fully understanding the details in them, nor the players involved.

I cannot speak on behalf of any of these groups, but my understanding
is that SOX and DCD are meant to provide alternatives to DTDs, while
RDF itself is not (though it can provide the foundation for expressing 
such an alternative, as in the case of DCD).

Al the best,


David Megginson                 david@megginson.com

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