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   Re: Architectural Forms and XAF

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  • From: Arjun Ray <aray@q2.net>
  • To: xml-dev <xml-dev@xml.org>
  • Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2000 17:07:53 -0500 (EST)

On Tue, 29 Feb 2000, David Wang wrote:

> > It's about pruning trees (with possible local shuffling of
> > morphologically fungible parts.)

> How is it much different than the monolithic XSLT work going on
> right now (is it a fair analogy to say that the virtual
> "architectural document" can be created by some hard-coded XSL
> stylesheet - if not, how exactly does XSLT relate to "generating
> the architectural document", if any).

Yes, I'm pretty sure XSLT could generate the architectural document
(if it can't, then something is wrong with XSLT!)  The difference is
in the word "virtual": AFs allow for multiple taxonomies at the same
time (sort of like running a different XSLT stylesheet for each one),
so the major point is "extraction" rather than transformation.  Using
XSLT is like using a cannon where a peashooter would do (one doesn't
need a Turing-complete language to extract architectural instances.) 

> I mean, I see half of AF as a way of specifying the association
> between elements/attributes, respectively (not elements to
> attributes, though),

If you mean

  <foo><bar>baz</bar></foo>  <==>  <foo bar="baz">

that's right: AFs don't provide for this.  (There a number of "good"
reasons, but that's a separate debate.  I'm sorely tempted to offer a 
reason or two, but I desist...)

> and the other half is the pruning/reordering the morphologically
> fungible parts.  Is there anything I'm grossly missing?

The two halves are the same thing.  The rubric is attribute-based
processing (for which, btw, plenty of precedents exist, e.g. CSS
styling based on the CLASS attribute), in terms of which generic
identifiers ("tagnames") are values morphologically.  (I believe this
is one of the major stumbling blocks to understanding AFs: generic
identifiers and attribute names aren't names of the same order.)  The
effect looks like renaming, but what's actually going on is assignment
of values (of "regular" attributes, and two "special" ones, #GI and
#CONTENT) to a new taxonomy.  The main purpose of such an exercise, of
course, is to take advantage of the fact that such a new taxonomy has
known semantics (and thus provides an "interpretation" of the original

You haven't missed anything:)


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