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   Re: Foreign Names

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  • From: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>
  • To: Steven Champeon <schampeo@hesketh.com>
  • Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2000 18:54:04 -0400

At 06:39 PM 4/15/00 -0400, Steven Champeon wrote:
>I still don't understand why it's so complex. 

It's not that complex, it's just that there's no standard way of doing it

>In a document that may
>contain X element types, and which actually contains Y in any given
>instance, you make 0 > Y >= X translations plus possibly more if you
>also change the attribute naming. You would only need to include a map
>of the standard names to those used in the document at hand; you
>wouldn't even need to provide a new DTD if all that changes are the
>identifiers. Just run it through a single pass transformation and
>you're back to the original DTD.

Yep.  It's an easy process - we just need a way to integrate that process
with existing XML processing infrastructures, rather than leaving it as
another application-specific variable we 'just have to hope' is supported.

>Maybe I'm missing something, but this just doesn't sound that hard.
>Of course, it does add a layer of processing, if not necessarily a
>substantial degree of complexity, for what benefit? It's one thing
>to talk about universal translation for natural language, it's quite
>another to talk about one-to-one mappings for documents whose markup
>is usually, if not always, hidden from the human reader.

It's not that hard because we're talking about relatively small fixed
vocabularies that are used in a highly structured way.  

I guess the real question is where this kind of process belongs.  Should it
be case-by-case using XSLT or architectural forms?  Built into schemas?
Described in packaging?

It seems like there's a lot of room to make a long-term improvement in i18n
and markup without creating wildly complex situations. 

Simon St.Laurent
XML Elements of Style / XML: A Primer, 2nd Ed.
Building XML Applications
Inside XML DTDs: Scientific and Technical
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