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   Re: Architectural Forms and XAF

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  • From: Arjun Ray <aray@q2.net>
  • To: xml-dev@xml.org
  • Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2000 20:43:16 -0500 (EST)

On Mon, 28 Feb 2000, Wang,David wrote:

> I do not understand - I do *not* see AFs as "object oriented" in
> the least.

They aren't.  There's a long (and often fruitful) analogy at work, but
it *is* an analogy only.  (The commonality is perhaps best expressed
in the term "archetype".)

> It seems like a great "hack" enabled by hijacking DTDs.  The more
> I read about it, the more convinced I became that AFs are indeed
> hacks.

Not really.  It's about pruning trees (with possible local shuffling
of morphologically fungible parts.)

> All the renaming attributes for the architecture name, attribute
> names, and attribute values, along with a recommendation to turn
> auto-associate off by default, point to a lack of a proper
> hierarchical namespace to avoid the consistent need to rename
> things because everything eventually collides in a flat namespace.

This is begging the question.  Blind *syntactic* combination is
*impossible* in the general case.  It just might be useful to
investigate the minimum (*non-zero*) alpha-renaming needed to avoid
"collisions", but the real need is ascription, for which AFs have
long provided a technique involving no new syntax.  Auto-associate, in
this context, is just a form of minimization (or defaulting) - it so
happens that *traditional* AFs have certain asymmetries due to murky
details in ISO8879, but that doesn't vitiate the concept or the
technique; in fact, XML is a chance to improve it!

> I think AF's notions deserve a simpler syntax instead of the
> convoluted way in which it twists around existing schema
> formalisms.

Please elaborate what you mean by "convoluted".


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