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   Draft of Paper: Using UML to Define XML DTDs

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  • From: "W. Eliot Kimber" <eliot@isogen.com>
  • To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 11:28:34 -0600

I've posted to my Web site a draft of a paper I'm developing on a
technique for using UML to define XML DTDs. I'd be grateful for any
review and feedback that y'all might be willing to provide. The URL is
<http://www.drmacro.com/hyprlink/uml-dtds.pdf> (about 100K in size).

I think the technique has some very attractive features compared with,
for example, using an XML-schema type approach for development and
management of DTDs (although it is not necessarily a competitor with XML
Schema as XML Schemas are one possible result that can be generated from
the UML models).

The basic idea is quite simple: I defined a set of types that reflect
the syntactic constructs of XML needed to define document types (element
types, attributes, etc.) and then use those types as stereotypes in
models that represent DTDs as implementation models (in the UML sense of
implementation models). The implementation model is intended to be
translated directly into some DTD syntax (normal declarations, XML
Schema, XDR, etc.) and so is analogous to using UML to define object
models that are translated directly into code.  Because the models are
defined in UML you get nice graphical representations for free, you can
tighly bind documentation to the model, and you can formally relate the
implementation model to higher-level analysis models that the DTD is an
implementation of, and of course you can use existing UML-base CASE
tools to do the development work. You can also use XMI as the normative
representation format (which allows, for example, quite sophisticated
documentation structures to be included in the model). You also get true
modularization and name mapping pretty much for free using UML's package

I'm pretty happy with the design at this point, although I haven't
applied it to enough examples yet to be confident it is complete. The
paper does include a tutorial example DTD defined using the approach.



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